Watermelons with sunglasses - UV exposure

Opticians need to warn of UV dangers in future heat waves

While the UK has recently enjoyed record-breaking weather, opticians are urging sun worshipers across the country to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays.

This Macular Week (26 June – 2 July) – which aims to raise awareness of a range of macular-related conditions – Specsavers and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) are urging people to protect their eyes from avoidable macular damage, particularly brought on by sun exposure.

Dr Nigel Best, Specsavers clinical spokesperson, says: ‘AMD affects more than 600,000 people across the UK. It’s a staggering amount – especially when you consider the fact that just a few lifestyle changes can improve chances of avoiding the condition.

‘We are keen to communicate that UV rays can be as harmful to your eyes as they are to your skin. It’s crucial that optometrists and dispensing opticians help people people know they should wear sunglasses or UV blocking contact lenses throughout the summer months to protect against the harmful exposure.

‘The advice is to look for sunglasses that meet the European Safety standards, as well as at least 80% light reduction to know that exposure to UV light is significantly reduced.’

Sally Harvey, chief executive of RNIB, added: ‘We know that almost half of all cases of sight loss are preventable, and this is why RNIB recommends people protect their eyes from the sun this summer by wearing their sunglasses.’

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