Since the 1990s, UV radiation in Australia has increased between two and six per cent. With summer on the horizon, now’s the time to establish some good habits for healthy eyes.
Almost a quarter of body+soul readers rarely wear sunglasses, according to a recent OPSM survey. However, it’s important to don your sunnies even in the shade because UV rays reflect off surfaces such as water, sand and snow. Choose sunglasses with EPF 9 or 10.
Pack a hat
Sun exposure causes most melanomas and the neck and ears are especially vulnerable. A hat is one of the best forms of protection, however the OPSM survey found that almost a quarter of Australians rarely wear one. Choose a hat with a wide brim made from a tightly-woven fabric.
Slap it on
If you’re not up to speed on the difference between UVA and UVB, here are a couple of pointers. UVA has a longer wavelength, travels through glass and damages collagen, speeding up the ageing process. On the other hand, UVB is shorter, penetrates only through to the epidermis, and causes sunburn and cancerous changes. One in 10 respondents rarely use sunscreen at all. It’s time to slip, slip, slap on a sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
Protect your family
UV damage to the eyes is cumulative and irreversible, and can contribute to cataracts, macular degeneration and photokeratitis (corneal sunburn). Children and teenagers can be less aware, so make sure they’re protected.
Know your body
If your vision, the colour or the iris of your eye changes, or your eye is red and painful, get it checked out. And if a mole grows, itches or changes shape, see your GP.