If UV damage to the eye is cumulative like UV damage to the skin…
Why are we not protecting our eyes like we do our skin?
Living in the southern tip of Africa brings with it fresh air, wide open spaces and long lazy sunny days… Often times we simply miss noticing this, due to our daily stress and preoccupation of being at the right time, at the right place in the rat race. Every now and again a stray thought makes us wonder why we still live here, given the daily dose of news on a somewhat negative social environment. It is then that we feel the penetrating warmth of our orange sun and smell the slightly dusted vapour of our environment – and so realizing ‘this place is the soil of my roots’.
But with the warm rays of the sun comes a less friendly companion in the shape of UV radiation, which slowly but surely cause changes in our skin and eyes.
The most frequent presentation of sun damage to the eyes are often only realized once we feel the slightly scratchy irritation in the nasal corners of our eyes and then discover the small elevated ‘bump’ on the white section right next to the colour. These thickened membranes are often red, swollen and can be very uncomfortable.
Pterigium and pinquecula are two difficult words to describe a common condition where the eye tissues are changed by the continuous effects of UV radiation and dryness. Both conditions can potentially cause significant discomfort and often require surgical treatment, but can easily be prevented with the use of UV absorptive, quality sunglasses.
Prof MT Coroneo performed research in 2006 where he used specific UV Fluoresence photography to analyse the eyes of young children. He found that UV damage to the eye can be identified at a very early stage when we as parents are completely oblivious of the level of damage already present in the eyes of our children.
In Australia, legislation protects the eyes and skin of young school aged children – as the parents of these kids are not just expected to pack a healthy lunch box but are also obliged to kit out their children with a sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect them during break time.
When we consider how significant the eye tissues are changed in young children – it is easy to anticipate that continous UV radiation accumilate as we age and eventually cause conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration which steals away our quality of vision and ultimately our quality of life.
So…as we protect our skin and that of our children, should we not invest in UV protection for our eyes and those of our kids?
Contact us at Moreleta Park 012 9987592 or Lynnwood 012 8076027 to find out more on our special offer on a FREE pair of UV protective, prescription sunglass lenses.