Protect eyes as early as three years old

THE sun’s UV rays can cause serious damage to our eyes, and if exposed to it for prolonged periods of time, the damage can often be irreversible.

Long-term exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun can increase the risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and a common type of skin cancer called cell carcinoma[1] in anyone, regardless of your health.

For children, their eyes let in more light than adults, due to their large pupils and clear lenses[2], which means that a significant proportion of our eyes’ lifetime exposure to UV occurs when we are young.

Protect eyes as early as three years old

In the summer with warm weather and beaming sun we need to take special care, but even on a cloudy day sun can cause harm to eyes, especially children.

Sun cream is important for protecting our skin, and ensuring you apply it to your eyelids will give some protection, however it’s vital our eyes are protected with sunglasses in order to avoid direct UV damage and to maintain good eye health.

UV damage can come in many different forms, for both adults and children, and whether long term or short team, can compromise good eye health.

Protect eyes as early as three years old

There are several conditions caused by UV exposure:

  • Photokeratitis: Also known as sunburn of the eyes or ‘snow blindness’, which can cause vision loss for up to 48 hours
  • Cataracts (most often found in adults): Progressive clouding of the eye lens (the part of the eye that focuses on light) which can cause slow vision loss
  • Age-related macular degeneration: UV rays can damage the retina of the eye, which can lead to age-related blindness in addition to increasing your risk of macular degeneration, which is the progressive loss of total vision
  • Skin cancer: Of the eyelids and eyeballs

When purchasing sunglasses, it’s crucial that they have adequate UV protection, as some fashion glasses don’t offer this. Wearing UV blocking glasses regularly can helps prevent long term damage.   

Suneez, a range of non-prescription sunglasses for children aged 3-12 have just been launched at Specsavers Ópticas. Priced at €29 with lifetime guarantee, Suneez are a great way to insure that children’s eyes are properly protected.

Protect eyes as early as three years old

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, says: ‘Children should be wearing sunglasses from the age of three. It’s important that their eyes are protected from this age to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

‘If children are not protected from an early age, the UV radiation from the sun can cause cell damage, which will put them at a higher risk of complications later down the line’

Available at all nine Specsavers Ópticas stores in Spain. Colours available are black, pink and blue – in small and medium sizes. Find your nearest store at www.specsavers.es

[1] https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/news/looking-after-your-eyes-sun

[2] https://www.startribune.com/children-s-eyes-let-in-more-light-than-adults-so-go-dark-to-help-them-sleep/476337673/

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