Summer has arrived and the festive season is finally here! With summer comes bright sun, sand, water and plenty of fun outdoors, and while there’s sunscreen for our skin, what can we do to protect our eyes? Here are a few tips from the experts at Spec-Savers:
1. Don’t settle for less than 100%
Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned? It’s a condition called photokeratitis which, while temporary, can be very painful. To avoid this and other damage caused by over-exposure to UV rays, choose high-quality sunglasses with adequate UV protection – and don’t be fooled into thinking the darker the lens, the safer they are for your eyes. Look out for a tag or sticker that confirms they provide 100% protection from all UV light.
2. Polarized lenses reduce glare, but don’t block UV rays
Polarized lenses are designed to reduce the glare bouncing off reflective surfaces like water or roads. Polarization itself does not provide UV protection. Instead, it provides a better visual experience for certain activities like driving, boating or golfing. There are polarized lenses made with a UV-blocking material, so check the label of polarized sunglasses to make sure they provide maximum UV protection.
3. Don’t be fooled by those clouds
While the sun’s rays are most damaging on a bright, sunny day between 10 am and 2 pm, UV exposure persists throughout the day – whether there’s cloud coverage or not. Wear your sunglasses any time you’re going to be outside or driving for an extended period, even if it’s a cloudy day. It’s also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap, as it can block out 50% of the UV rays to which you are exposed.
4. Watch the water
Whether you’re on the beach, at the pool or swimming in a lake or river, unprotected eyes can be aggravated or damaged by water exposure in several ways. For pool swimming, the big culprit is chlorine, which can be very irritating for your eyes leading to itchy and bloodshot eyes. The salt and sand in seawater has the same effect, and if you’re swimming in natural freshwater the risk comes from waterborne infections. For this reason, wearing a pair of watertight goggles is your best choice for eye protection.
5. Gaze at the stars, not the sun
Never look directly into the sun because, even with protective eyewear, looking at the sun directly can cause significant damage to your eyesight. Looking at the sun for even just a minute can cause a condition called solar retinopathy, a form of retina damage caused by solar radiation which causes impaired vision and eye pain, as well as cataracts and melanoma.
All the sunglasses at Spec-Savers provide 100% UV protection and are designed to cater for all face shapes, styles and budgets. To make it even easier and more affordable for you to buy the best sunglasses, Spec-Savers has launched their Sunglass Saturdays promotion for summer! From 1 December 2021 until 28 February 2022, you get two pairs of sunglasses for the price of one (lowest priced pair free) when you buy any Police or Converse sunglasses at Spec-Savers. Visit www.specsavers.co.za to find your nearest store or view the full range and buy them online.