Leading eye research charity Fight for Sight says that one in two people is putting their eye health at risk during sunny weather by not always wearing ultraviolet (UV) protective sunglasses to protect their eyes.
A YouGov poll conducted on behalf of the charity in July 2018 has found that 54 percent of adults across Great Britain say that they never wear UV protective sunglasses when they are outside in the sunshine or only wear them sometimes or rarely.
Fifty six percent of adults in Great Britain were also unaware that wearing UV protective sunglasses in sunny weather can reduce the chances of people developing cataracts and possibly age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of sight loss in the UK.
The charity is aiming to increase awareness of the need to wear sunglasses to reduce exposure to UV. Frequent UV exposure is cumulative and can lead to the development of cataracts and possibly macular degeneration, which both impair sight.
Dr Neil Ebenezer, Director of Research, Policy and Innovation at Fight for Sight, said:
Unfortunately these findings aren’t surprising – we know that many people are unaware of the risks that sun damage can cause to the eye, and that people don’t wear sunglasses enough. We’d encourage people to make sure that they are protecting their eyes during this sunny weather. People should ensure that they buy sunglasses with the CE mark for UV protection to guarantee that they meet the European standard.”
The eyes of children under five are particularly vulnerable so it’s especially important that they are protected.”
Fight for Sight is the leading UK charity dedicated to funding pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease. Fight for Sight’s overall research commitments currently amount to £8m for over 160 research projects at 49 different universities and hospitals across the UK.
Over the course of its history the charity’s research has resulted in breakthroughs that include new treatments to save the sight of premature babies, the world’s first clinical trials to test gene therapies for inherited eye conditions and the creation of a corneal transplant service.