With the warm weather here to stay, Aussies are making the most of it by taking their fitness regime out of the gym and into the great outdoors!
With hundreds of scenic coastal walks around Australia including Sydney’s famous Bondi to Coogee, the picturesque Cape Byron Lighthouse walk, and Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Walk – it’s no wonder Aussies are kicking their workout (and ‘gram!) goals at the beach.
However, research has linked long-term UV exposure, of more than five hours a day, to retinal changes seen in age-related macular degeneration. While Australia has some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world, many of us don’t know the damaging effects the summer sun can have, especially when the eyes are left exposed.
With market-leading PolarizedPlus2 lens technology, the experts at Maui Jimhave shared their advice on how eliminating the effects of sun rays can help reduce the chances of facing a range of eye and eyelid cancers, as well as other eye conditions like macular degeneration.
Where’s the one place you can’t apply sunscreen? Your eyes!
This leaves the thin, delicate skin around your eyes, as well as your eyes themselves, unprotected. In fact, 5% to 10% of all skin cancers occur around the eyes. Top tip: Look for the Skin Cancer Foundation seal the next time you shop for sunglasses and select a high-quality pair of polarised sunglasses to help protect the area around your eyes from harm.
Wearing non-protective sunglasses is actually worse than going without.
Did you know that wearing sunglasses that offer shade but don’t offer UVA and UVB protection, will cause your eyes to dilate (pupils get larger) which exposes your eyes to more harmful rays?
Allow you to see better in the dark.
No, not by wearing your sunglasses at night. It’s about the time it takes your eyes to adjust from light to dark. Bright sunlight bleaches the photoreceptors and lengthens the time it takes your eyes to adjust to the dark. Normally, your eyes should adapt fully to the dark within 30 minutes. Being in bright sunlight for two to three hours while exercising can delay this adaptation by hours, so by protecting our eyes, we shorten that adaptation period making us better night drivers!
Sunglasses are not just for bright sunny days
The exposure of walking for a long period of time on a coastal walk whether overcast or sunny, can damage the eyes. To combat the harmful effects of the sun, we should wear a pair of quality polarised sunglasses because they block out harmful UV rays and eliminate glare.
Age-proof your eyes
Leaving the eyes exposed can cause premature ageing. Potential damage from UV rays includes sunburns on the eye’s surface, cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer of the eye and surrounding skin. This delicate skin is also the first place we form wrinkles, so protecting the eye area keeps us younger for longer.
Timing is everything
The time of day also influences the available UV rays, but just to make it tricky, the safest time for your eyes is different to your skin. At midday, the UV rays can be as much as 10 times higher than three hours earlier or later, but the eye is naturally shaded by the brow ridge when the sun is highest in the sky! The highest UV exposure to your eyes is actually when the sun is lower in the sky, in the morning and mid-afternoon, rather than at noon.