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Why you should invest in sunglasses this Summer

19 August 2016

We all know that the sun’s UV rays are bad for our skin but did you know that they’re just as bad for your eyes? Just as sunscreen keeps the sun’s UV rays from harming your skin, UV protection for eyeglasses block those same rays from damaging your eyes.

While it is important for sunglasses to be worn all year round, as we move into the warmer months of Spring and Summer the need to wear sunglasses becomes more important than ever.

“Eyes, like skin, are susceptible to damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. UV radiation from the sun or from a solarium is not seen or felt, but the damage it causes is cumulative.” Cancer Council Australia and Eye Research Australia (2006).

The human eye is 10 times more sensitive to harmful UV rays than your skin. UV light is absorbed by molecules which are present in the eye cells and tissues. If too much UV light is absorbed, eye structures such as the cornea, the lens and the retina can be damaged. Health complications that may arise from over-exposure to UV rays include:

  • Cataracts
  • Photokeratitus (or ultraviolet keratitis)
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Pterygium
  • Pinguecula

While the devastating impacts of UV radiation can be felt by all, it is especially important that children wear sunglasses Why? Besides the fact they typically spend more time in the sun than adults, the ocular lens of a child allows for 70% more UV rays to reach the delicate retina than an adults.

HLV suggests following recommendations from the Cancer Council Australia and Eye Research Australia, when purchasing sunglasses.Your new sunglasses should:

  • Meet the AS/ANZs Standard with a category number between 2 – 4
  • Transmit very little radiation
  • Be labelled UV 400 of EPF (Eye Protection Factor) 9 or 10
  • Be a wraparound style, close fitting and large in lens size.

For more information visit the Cancer Council’s website at

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RANZCO - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists - The Leaders in Collaborative Eye Care
ASO - Australian Society of Ophthalmologists

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