May 2011

Keeping eyes safe in the sun - May 2011

During summer weather, not only do you need to protect your skin; eyes too can easily be damaged by the harmful effects of bright sunlight. Molsom & Associates Optometrists of Spalding are on hand to offer expert advice to ensure you make an informed choice of stylish sunglasses to provide appropriate protection from UV radiation. There are also specific tints available for particular sports.

Partner, Andy Molsom, explains, “You need to avoid both ultra-violet (UV) radiation and glare. Harmful UV rays are always present in daylight, even on the cloudiest of days. The more UV light you are exposed to, the greater the eye damage is likely to be. UV rays are the part of the spectrum that cause sunburn and premature aging of the skin. These same rays can also cause eye damage. “

Andy goes on to caution: “Your optician will explain the importance of buying sunglasses that block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB radiation, but they must also reduce glare, which can cause squinting, eye fatigue and discomfort. Glare can be caused by reflected light, perhaps from water or from a shiny road surface, polarized lenses will protect from this."

Style does not need to be compromised to achieve safety. Molsom Optometrists stock a huge range of the latest collections from exclusive brands. Photochromic lenses, which automatically darken and lighten to match changing light levels, work well in avoiding glare and protecting against UV light. These are ideal for when you move out of the sun and go indoors.

The Spalding based practice also stock technical Sports Sunglasses for most sports, such as cycling, running, sailing and skiing. These include the exclusive Nike brand, which uses particular tints to improve vision for sports such as golf and running. To improve performance, Nike developed the Nike Max Golf Tint sunglasses by measuring the light that certain elements emit and then tuned the lens for greater contrast. For running, they have engineered Nike Max Speed Tint, where the colour reduces glare off the road; relaxing the eyes and enhancing visibility. All of these are available as prescription lenses.

Without adequate protection, eyes may suffer age related macular degeneration and cataracts as we get older. To find out whether your sunglasses are safe and to the highest standard, look out for the CE mark, UV400 and EN 1836:1997 markings. If not, consult your optician for professional advice about their effectiveness in providing vital protection against UV rays.

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