Is the sun damaging your eyes?

Excessive light exposure has been shown to be potentially very damaging to our eyes. It is the UV component of sunlight that does the most damage.  Even on overcast Sligo days UV rays are still present in the atmosphere. UV rays have both a direct and cumulative impact on eye health. To best protect your eyes from these harmful UV rays, always wear quality sunglasses which block 100% of UV when outdoors. Our optometrists are happy to discuss UV protection with you at any time, this is not just a summer issue but one that needs to be considered in all seasons.


The skin around the eye is the thinnest in the body, therefore very delicate and susceptible to UV damage. Skin cancers and tumours of the eye and eye lids can be triggered by exposure to UV. This is why we recommed where possible that patients choose a wrapped or larger designed sunglass so that not just the eye but also the surrounding eye area is well protected. Investing in a large brimmed hat is also a good idea. UV is also a trigger factor in AMD and cataract  both of which are very visually debilitating.


Your sunglasses will only give you optimum protection from UV light if they fit correctly. Over time sunglasses will become loose and slip down our nose thus allowing light in around the lenses. At Deirdre Cooke Opticians we offer a complimentary adjustment service with all sunglasses we sell . We would also be happy to check if your existing sunglasses are giving you UV protection.


Research has shown that the damage done to our eyes from UV light, like the damage done to our skin is cumulative. It is therefore important we protect our children's eyes from sunlight. Children spend more time outside than adults and also have large pupils. Both of these factors result in more UV light reaching the retina of a child than that of an adult. Well fitting 100% UV filtered sunglasses worn along with a peaked cap are recommended for children.

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