Swimsuit: check. Beach towel: check. Beach umbrella: check. Sunscreen: check! Sound familiar? That’s because it is the time of year we are all making our December holiday plans. In South Africa, December means summer, good times and sunshine – a lot of sunshine!
Did you know that the same amount of UV that your skin is exposed to is the same amount that your eyes absorb? Yes, your eyes can get sunburnt as well! Studies show that too much UV exposure can cause damage to your eyes.
Your Eyes and the Sun
UV damage to the eyes include cataract, age related macular degeneration as well as pterygium formation. Pterygium, also known as “surfer’s eye”, is a vascularised growth onto the cornea and is most commonly seen on the nasal part of the eye.
Dry and windy climates together with UV exposure cause pterygium to be a common eye condition in South Africa. This condition’s symptoms include irritation and redness.
How to Prevent Sun Damage to Your Eyes
A good quality (emphasis on quality!) pair of sunglasses needs to be at the top of your holiday checklist. How do you know that your sunglasses have the correct lenses for the sunny South African climate? Here are a few tips:
- Look at the label and not at the price tag. If it doesn’t block 99% of UVA and UVB rays, it is better off staying on the shelf.
- The darker the lens, the better the quality of protection. NO NO NO! It still needs the UVA and UVB filter – read the label.
- Size sometimes does count. Make sure the lens covers the entire eye, as soft tissue around the eye can easily get sunburnt.
- Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake counterfeit sunglasses sold at every street corner is not the way to go. These are cheap imitations and way below a good optical standard.
- Polarised lenses. These lenses reduce glare from water surfaces and snow significantly, but it is no replacement for a UV filter – both is required for optimal protection.
- Always remember that you only have two eyes. Take care of them as they are irreplaceable!
We are Here to Help!
If you wear prescription glasses, don’t stress. We can make you a pair of trendy prescription sunglasses with an UVA and UVB filter, as well as polarised lenses if required.
If you don’t want to wear glasses at the beach or on your long awaited overseas holiday, the best option is soft daily disposable contact lenses – an easy, no fuss contact lens that is very comfortable. These contact lenses have UV filters built in, which means that they too protect your eyes from sunburn.
Make your appointment today at Moreleta Park (012 998 7592/3) or Lynnwood (012 807 6027) for your FREE trial for these softy daily lenses.