Sunglasses vital to combat eye damage
An Auckland optometrist is urging people to protect their eyes as summer approaches.
‘‘We often remember to protect our skin from the sun but people seem to forget it can be just as damaging to the eyes,’’ optometrist Chris Boyle says.
‘‘Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight contributes towards eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.’’
People who wear spectacles are at greater risk of exposure to UV radiation than average because they are less likely to bother with sunglasses.
Keen gardener Colleen Coleman knows the significance of wearing sunglasses too well.
Earlier this year Mrs Coleman had an operation for UV damage which had caused a growth on one eye.
‘‘I used to garden without sunglasses, but since my operation I’ve made a conscious effort to wear my prescription sunglasses whenever I’m outside.
‘‘I can’t believe I never wore them before, it’s so much easier on the eyes. Putting on sunglasses when outdoors should be part of every Kiwi’s summer ritual,’’ she says.
Mr Boyle says sunrelated conditions can have serious consequences, including vision loss and even blindness.
‘‘It’s a must for specwearers to have prescription sunglasses so they can keep their eyes protected while maintaining optimal vision, particularly gardeners and people who spend a lot of time working outdoors,’’ he says.
Sun damage toms:
Blurred, glary patchy vision Red eyes Eye irritation, ache or pain
Lumps, bumps, spots or scales on the eye or eyelids.
Budding design: Neerali Parbhu at Starship Hospital in Auckland with her Sprout IV Pole for child patients.
Healthy eyes: Keen gardener Colleen Coleman says putting on sunnies before going outside should be part of every Kiwi’s ritual.