Top 6 tips to keep your eyes safe in the sun

2 May 2024

Warmer weather is on the horizon. This is an important reminder to stay safe in the sun. Soon enough you will be relaxing by a beach somewhere, enjoying a picnic in the park, or just generally spending more time outdoors. Keep yourself protected and look forward to relaxed summer days spent with friends and family.

Sun Awareness Week is a national campaign that runs from Monday 6th to Sunday 12th May. It aims to raise awareness around the dangers of exposure to the sun and the effects this can have on your health. Overexposure to UV rays can have a negative impact on your eyesight. UV light can cause diseases such as cataracts and lead to the development of macular degeneration. However, a small amount of exposure to the sun is good as it provides the body with vitamin D.

Despite the benefits of sunlight, it is essential to ensure you have suitable protection and that you take every precaution necessary to safeguard your sight. We have therefore come up with some top tips to help you stay safe in the sun.

Shield your eyes from the sun

We would recommend strongly that you wear the appropriate eyewear when exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Ideally, you will need large wraparound sunglasses or ones with thick temples to guarantee maximum protection from the sun. If you are wearing prescription glasses, you should also be certain the lenses have a UV filter.

At Glasses Direct, all of our sunglasses tints come with 100% UVA/B protection. You can choose from our dark, gradient, or polarised sunglasses. Transitions® lenses are another convenient choice. They adapt seamlessly to changing light conditions, going from clear indoors to dark outdoors whilst also being able to block UV light.

We even have a range of sophisticated lens packages that come as an upgrade to our basic clear lenses. The Gold, Platinum and Diamond packages feature an anti-UV and anti-reflective coating. This means you can have a pair of glasses with a built-in UV400 coating to protect against radiation from the sun and reduce problematic reflections and glare. However, we would still recommend sunglasses in very bright conditions to prevent you from squinting your eyes which can lead to discomfort and eye strain.

It is important to be aware that reflected sunlight from water, snow, sand and artificial light from sunbeds is very dangerous. Wearing UV protection year-round is essential. To protect your eyes, we would also suggest that you avoid looking directly at the sun as this can cause permanent eye damage.

Do not forget to apply sunscreen

Ensure any areas of your skin that might be exposed to the sun are covered with sunscreen. Apply sunscreen before you head outside to allow time for it to be absorbed into your skin and to provide effective protection. Reapply sun cream every two hours and immediately after swimming, sweating, or using a towel. Sunscreens normally have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF). This is a number that indicates its ability to block UV rays. As a rule, the higher the SPF number the better the UV protection.

Take some time to cool off

Seek shade wherever possible to reduce the risk of sun damage. Stay under an umbrella or find other forms of shelter wherever possible. You can still have plenty of fun and stay safe in the sun whilst avoiding direct sunlight. You should also try your best to spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm as this is when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Hydrate your eyes

The warm weather can dry your eyes out, especially if you are someone who wears contact lenses or if you suffer from allergies. Make sure you use eye drops regularly to soothe any irritation. Eye drops are designed to replicate natural tears which help to hydrate your eyes.

Wear appropriate clothing

Cover your shoulders, chest and back with a comfortable, loose-fitting t-shirt or long-sleeve top. Dark colours will absorb more UV light than lighter colours which will make it far less likely that the UV rays will reach your skin. You should also avoid sitting in direct sunlight with a wet t-shirt as it offers far less UV protection. Aim to wear a hat with a wide brim so that it shades your face, eyes, ears and the back of your neck.

Drink plenty of water!

It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but you really need to make sure you are drinking enough water. Being outside in the sun can make you feel dizzy and thirsty, so be sure to cool yourself down with a cold drink. Be aware that sugary drinks will not hydrate you in the same way that water does. You should aim to drink around six to eight glasses of water a day. Our advice would be to take a large bottle of water out and remember to have regular sips. Keep your body hydrated, protect yourself and stay safe in the sun.

Keep yourself and others protected from the sun. We have a whole range of fashionable sunglasses that will provide protection and make you look stylish at the same time. Do not forget to follow the rest of our advice and practise our vital sun safety techniques.