The following was written by Bill Evans and published in the Coolum and North Shore News, Ask the Professionals page on Friday, 27th February 2015.
Q: Why should I wear sunglasses?
A: Sunglasses were once seen as a fashion fad, but are now essential in preventing eye damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Most UV light reaching the eye is absorbed by the cornea, and high levels of UV light such as at the beach can cause the cornea to become inflamed.
Longer term, a pinguecula or pterygium may form, where the surface of the conjunctiva or cornea thickens and appears fleshy and red, these may need surgery.
UVB radation reaching the lens inside of the eye may cause cataracts. With a cataract, the eye’s lens becomes cloudy and eventually opaque, blurring vision and eventually requiring surgery.
Sunglasses, as well as wearing a hat, are an effective way to prevent exposure to harmful UV radiation. All sunglasses for sale in Australia must meet an Australian Standard specifying how much UV radiation they will block.