Look after your eyes during summer

Australians are usually aware of the dangers that UV rays can cause to the skin, but not the risks to their eyes.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels can be up to three times higher during summer than in winter. All UV eye exposure, regardless as to how short, adds up in the long term.

A man and a woman wear sunglasses

It is not only direct sunlight that can cause damage to your eyes. Research has shown that a greater proportion of UV radiation can reach the eye from scattered sunlight by the particles in the atmosphere and sunlight reflected from the ground and off water.

Here are some useful tips to keep your eyes sun safe this summer:

  1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that meet Australian Standards that provide adequate coverage around the eyes.
  2. Remember when buying sunglasses that darkness does not necessarily provide UV protection. Check that your sunglasses meet Australian Standards (AS/NZS1067:2003). Look for a UV lens category of 2, 3 or 4 on the swing tag. Some sunglasses are marked with Eye Protection Factor (EPF); EPF 9 or 10 exceed the Australian standards.
  3. Parents, protect the eyes of your children by choosing a style of sunglasses that stay on securely. If your child is reluctant to wear sunglasses, ensure they wear a hat and encourage them to stay in the shade.
  4. If you wear prescription glasses/lenses, check with your optometrist if they provide adequate UV protection. Prescription sunglasses are available from your optometrist.
  5. If your eyes become irritated after spending time in the sun, visit an optometrist for advice.
  6. If you notice a change in your vision, this could be a sign of something serious, visit an optometrist for an eye test without delay.

For more information, speak to an optometrist –