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Millions of adults don't know the danger of UV rays

Wednesday 19 June 2019

A recent survey has revealed that a huge proportion of the British public don’t know the negative impact UV rays can have on their health and in particular the damage it can cause to their eyes.

The study was commissioned by Optical systems company, Zeiss, who aimed to gain a greater understanding of British peoples knowledge of UV radiation and how they can protect themselves from damage. The research was conducted by market research company OnePoll with 2000 people surveyed on their familiarity with UV rays.

The results found that nearly a third of people don’t know that they can be harmed by UV rays from the sun during winter months or on a cloudy day when you can’t see the sun. The lack of knowledge is supported with the fact that over half of people surveyed didn’t know you can be affected by UV radiation whilst in the shade and only a quarter of people relate sunburn to UV ray damage.

According to Dr Debbie Laughton from Zeiss, UV radiation carries a significant threat to the health of our eyes and can cause ‘conditions such as cataracts, photokeratitis, photo ageing and permanent skin damage’. This highlights the necessity of protecting our eyes from UV rays, but despite this according to the survey a fifth of people have no idea how to protect their eyes and nearly 20% of people either don’t see protecting their eyes as a priority or simply don’t care.

The standard way to protect ones eyes from UV radiation and therefore future eye health problems such as cataracts is to wear sunglasses. However according to Zeiss’ research more than half of people will select their glasses based on style and comfort instead of the level of UV protection they provide. Dr Laughton also states that ‘according to the WHO, roughly 20% of all cataracts are caused or worsened by UV radiation’ which highlights the importance of protecting your eyes such as through prioritising UV protection when buying sunglasses.

Sources:

  1. Millions of adults turning blind eye to harmful UV rays, study warns.

  2. EYE FRY Millions of adults have ‘no idea’ UV rays can damage their eyes, study finds.

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