Millions Of Brits Risk Eye Health By Choosing Stylish Sunglasses Over Protective Ones, Finds Study

A recent poll found that people are more likely to purchase a pair of sunglasses based on looks and don’t consider how the glasses can protect their eyes. The study was conducted via OnePoll which also looked at misconceptions surrounding sunglasses. Read on to know more about the study and how sunlight causes damage to the eyes.
Millions Of Brits Risk Eye Health By Choosing Stylish Sunglasses Over Protective Ones

Millions Of Brits Risk Eye Health By Choosing Stylish Sunglasses Over Protective Ones

A recent poll conducted on 2,000 adults found that one in four (23%) are more likely to purchase a pair of sunglasses based on looks and don’t consider how the glasses can protect their eyes. Of this, 19% of them admitted that they don’t know how effective their shades are in protecting their eyes from UV rays.
The study also says that 37% of people are unaware sunglasses have different levels of UV protection and 66% of them only cared for their sunglasses to match their outfit. A report in the express.co.uk, says that only 18% wear sunglasses all year round, despite the risk of sun damage during any season.
Giles Edmonds, clinical services director at Specsavers, which commissioned the research, said, “Long-term sun exposure can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight and can increase the risk of specific eye conditions such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness.
“The right sunglasses can protect the eyes by filtering UV light from the eyes. However, many people still choose a cosmetic pair over safety, which may cause the pupil to dilate, increasing the amount of UV light filtering into the eyes.”
The study also revealed that 31% are concerned about sun damage if they forget their shades on a sunny day. However, a little over one in 20 (6%) confessed their biggest concern would be adding to the wrinkles around their eyes.
The study was conducted via OnePoll which also looked at misconceptions surrounding sunglasses. It also found that 23% believe that sunglasses with larger lenses provide better protection from UV rays. While 14% think that darker sunglasses always offer better UV protection.
The study also revealed that half of those polled believe their eyesight has worsened over the last 10 years, with more than one in 10 reporting a significant deterioration. And 39% wish they’d taken better care of their peepers when they were in their younger years.
Here, take a look at how sunlight causes damage to the eyes.

UV Radiation Exposure

The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays which can be harmful to the eyes. Prolonged exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays can damage the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye, thereby, increasing the risk of various eye conditions.

Photokeratitis

Also known as “sunburn of the eye,” photokeratitis occurs when the cornea is overexposed to UV light. Symptoms of the condition include pain, redness, blurriness, tearing and a gritty feeling in the eyes.

Cataracts

UV radiation can accelerate the development of cataracts, which is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. This leads to decreased vision and, if untreated, can cause blindness.

Macular Degeneration

Chronic exposure to UV rays can lead to macular degeneration which is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. This condition affects the macula which is the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision.

Photoconjunctivitis

This is inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the white part of the eyeball. UV exposure can cause redness, swelling and pain. This condition is similar to photokeratitis but affects the conjunctiva instead of the cornea.

Skin Cancer Around the Eyes

Prolonged sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, around the eyelids and surrounding skin.

Damage to Retinal Cells

Intense sunlight, especially when looking directly at the sun (such as during a solar eclipse) can cause solar retinopathy. This damage to the retinal cells causes permanent vision loss and cannot be reversed.

Eyelid Damage

The delicate skin of the eyelids is susceptible to sunburn and long-term damage from UV exposure. This can lead to wrinkles, loss of elasticity and an increased risk of skin cancer.
End of Article
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