protect your eyes from the summer sun

Why protect your eyes from the summer sun

Your eyes are sources, in the silent waters of which the sky is mirrored

(William Shakespeare)


This is the way in which William Shakespeare described our precious vital organs, our eyes, which allow us to appreciate life and enjoy this new hot Mediterranean sunny summer, full of light with its long days.

Unfortunately, although the summer sun has so many positive effects on our body, on our metabolism and even on our mood, our eyes have more than one enemy hidden in the sunlight rays: UV rays and blue light.

Scientific studies are still far from being able to provide a ruling on the negative effects that UV rays and blue light have on eyes, but research seems to have reached the point of offering an innovative and revolutionary eye protection: photochromic contact lenses.


Summer sun and UV rays damages


In fact, the Medical Xpress website reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first photochromic contact lenses some months ago, which darken in the sun, marking a new breakthrough in scientific research on eye protection.

The news also underlines once again how important eye protection from the sun's rays is, especially during summer.


The effects of UV rays on the eyes


According to the World Health Organization, the eye is the only organ that allows light to pass deep into the human body. Eyes are embedded inside the anatomy of head and shielded by forehead, eyebrows and eyelashes. This is not enough in those situations in which we are exposed to strong reflections of light as when we find ourselves on the beach with sand and sea, which act like a reflecting mirror of the sun's rays.


Ultraviolet rays


Among other things, the UV rays are lurking even when it is cloudy, so the effectiveness of natural defences in the protection from UV damages is very limited.

Among the various negative effects of UV rays are the photokeratitis which is an inflammation of the cornea and the photonjunctivitis which is the inflammation of the conjunctiva that is the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids of the ocular cavity. Although these ocular inflammations are painful, they are reversible in most of the cases and do not result in long-term damages to eyes and sight. However, there are also extreme forms of photokeratitis due to high incidence UV rays which damage the outer cells of the eyeball leading to loss of vision.
Another negative effect can be the formation of cataract, that is, the process by which proteins of eyes unravel, tangle and accumulate pigments which cloud the vision until they lead to a very poor vision quality if not removed. According to the OMN, cataract is caused by overexposure to UV rays in 20% of the cases.

Some simple tips to protect our eyes in summer


If we get used to the idea that sunglasses are not only a fashion accessory but also an indispensable protective tool for eyes against UV rays, we will be able to fully enjoy the summer season by turning away the risk of ocular diseases caused by excessive exposure.

It is worth pointing out that the negative effects of UV rays on eyes can occur both in the short term and in the long term, therefore, even after years of excessive exposure. That is why it is good to make sure that one gets used to protect eyes from exposure to ultraviolet rays since childhood.


Sunglasses in summer

Some simple tips to protect our eyes in summer:

  • choose sunglasses with "UV400" or "100% UV" and wrap-around lenses
  • make sure you have UV filters even on sunglasses with clear lenses
  • if necessary wear hats with visor
  • make sure that children on the beach wear protective glasses even under the umbrella during the brightest hours
  • avoid exposing yourself from midday to early afternoon at high altitudes or to reflective surfaces such as sand or water

The risks to children of ocular diseases in adulthood due to insufficient eye protection during their childhood are high. Estimates vary according to studies, but ophthalmologists agree that about 80% of sun and UV exposure occurs before the age of 18. This is due to the fact that typically until that age one spends a lot of time outdoors and this is why one is more exposed to the harmful effects of UV rays.

Vision and our eyes are precious gifts and give us the satisfaction of being able to admire and enjoy the wonders of life every day.

We protect our eyes from the summer sun.





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