Sean Costello Street

Are you looking after your eyes?

Local optometrist, Rena Elliott, is concerned about the short and long term effects of exposure to sunlight. In the same way that UV radiation is harmful to the skin, this invisible radiation is also harmful to the eyes.

Short term effects include: redness, irritation, tearing, vision blurring

Medium termeffectsiinclude: growths on white of the eyes (pingueculas, pterygium )

Long term effects include: cataracts, macular degeneration

Ocular damage is cumulative and permanent

Sources: directly through clouds and indirect via reflections from water, snow, and concrete

During spring, summer and autumn ocular UV exposure is greatest during early morning and late afternoon. It is nearly double that of other day times as the sun’s rays are at eye level at those times.

Children are especially vulnerable as they have bigger pupils, spend more time outdoors, and have a longer life expectancy (34 per cent of children born in 2010 will live to be over 100 ).

Some sunglasses do not provide the full protection against UV radiation so it is important to buy good quality ones. Children should be encouraged to wear sunglasses as young as possible so the wearing becomes second nature to them.

All Johnson and Johnson Acuvue brand contact lenses have full UV protection.

So remember:

- UV damage is cumulative and can lead to eye disease

- Keeping eyes clear and healthy requires protection from infancy onwards

- UV protection for eyes is as important as sunscreen for skin

- Good quality sunglasses / contact lenses are vital for proper protection

If you need to discuss eye protection for you or your family call in to Elliott Opticians, Irishtown, Athlone.

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