A lot has been written about ultraviolet radiation and the eye and a lot of research conducted into its effects on vision. The things pretty much everyone agrees on is that UV is damaging to the eye, it can be protected against and the products to achieve that are on the market.As Optician’s latest roundtable discussion highlighted (see news) there is little joined-up thinking in the way in which the profession goes about informing the public and getting those UV-protecting products onto the faces of the great British public.Surveys show that the links between sun and skin damage are well understood by the public, but there is little understanding of the role the sun can play in damaging vision. There is the added problem of making people understand that UV radiation penetrates clouds, bounces off surfaces and is incident upon the eye spring and autumn, morning and afternoon, not just at midday in high summer.Many practitioners will have attended meetings or completed CET describing in great detail the issues surrounding UV, but the variables involved are massive. The public needs a simple and easily understandable guide to protection. Adoption of such an index shouldn’t get bogged down in scientific argument.Such indices are a great sales and marketing tool. And if that gets more people wearing UV-blocking lenses and contact lenses that’s got to be a good thing.
By Chris Bennett, editor.