Whilst we are all fully aware of why and how to protect our skin from the sun, it is also incredibly important to protect our eyes as well. Excessive exposure to UV rays during the sunny season can lead to temporary discomfort as well as long term effects.
With the thinning of the ozone layer (the Earth’s shield from UV rays) combined with the lack of cloud cover in the summer months, the sun's rays are usually much stronger contributing to a high UV rating. It is incredibly important to take precautions and protect your eyes from the bright harmful rays of light. Not taking the precautions to protect your eyes could lead to a whole range of risks associated with eye damage. Short term effects from high UV exposure often present as sore and irritated eyes. However, long term effects can be much more serious and can include photo keratitis, cataracts, pterygia and eye cancers. If the lens of the eye is exposed to ultraviolet light for an extended period of time, there is the risk of losing transparency which can lead to impaired vision and even sight loss.
UV exposure can vary depending on the time of day, how long you spend in the bright sunlight and the working conditions and environment you are exposed to. Reflective surfaces such as water, sand, rock and reflective roofing materials are all accountable and add to the risks.
Whilst it is important to choose lenses that are suitable for the conditions it is also imperative to choose protective eyewear that fits well. Safety glasses with a close or wraparound fit help to prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating any part of the lens. You must also choose a lens tint to suit the brightness of the working conditions as well as lenses that offer high protection against harmful UV rays. Another feature to look out for include anti-fogging properties especially if you are carrying out strenuous, physical work.
If you work in a high glare environment then polarised lenses are an essential for eye safety. Bolle Safety’s injection moulded polarised technology is almost unbeatable. These lenses block 99.99% of UV rays which is over and beyond the Europeans standards. Featuring an optically correct polarising film that is embedded into the lens, it cannot be removed or scratched off.
It is imperative that you look after your eyes, after all, you only get one pair. Damage can be prevented with something as simple as a pair of safety sunglasses. Visual impairment could be devastating especially if it could have been avoided. If you experience any discomfort or strain then it is always best to get checked out and remember that eye protection is required all year round, not just during the summer. You can browse our full range of safety glasses here.