Friday 18 January 2013

Patients unaware of winter UV risk to eye

Eye care professionals have been told to remind their patients about the importance of UV protection for eyes during the winter months.
A study by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care showed 90 per cent of patients only felt exposed to UV rays in summer.

It was found that while 65 per cent were concerned about protecting their eyes from UV rays overall, just 6 per cent considered using protection on a cloudy day.
'During winter the dangers of UV still exist with 50 per cent of the UV radiation our eyes receive coming from indirect sources, such as reflections from ice and snow on the ground,' said optometrist and director at Specs of Kensington, Daska Barnett.
'Not only can UV rays pierce cloud cover, they reflect off all surfaces in any weather. New research shows eyes are particularly vulnerable to UV light exposure in the early morning and late afternoon, when people least expect it.
'As eye care professionals we should remind our patients that protection from UV rays is important to eye health.'
Reflected radiation was said to be more dangerous than direct sunlight because people were more likely to look down than up, and noted that fewer UV rays were absorbed by the atmosphere at high altitude.
'With this in mind building a dialogue with our patients is necessary - not only to educate them on the health dangers but to ensure they make an educated decision on the right product to help protect their eyes,' added Barnett.
The study also showed 74 per cent of UK contact lens wearers were not aware that contact lenses can offer UV protection, but most would be willing to pay extra for UV protection.
J&J added that the best UV protection for eyes was the combination of contact lenses with UV blockers and wrap-around goggles or sunglasses.

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