Sun­glasses vi­tal to com­bat eye dam­age

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

symp-

or

Photo: PHIL DOYLE

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.

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