Are your sunglasses up to the job when it comes to protecting your peepers?
The sun has returned for 2015 but with it comes a warning about the risks to our eyes without proper protection.
Wearing sunglasses reduces the risks of damaging your eyes as a result of the strong ultra violet light from the sun's rays, said the Irish Association of Ophthalmologists.
The advice is to check your glasses have a UV factor and carry the CE mark which indicates they meet the European safety standards.
Once you have the right sunglasses, make sure you wear them, especially in the summer when UV levels are at least three times higher than in the winter. Long-term exposure to sunlight increases the risk of a type of cataract and is also linked to pterygia (growths on the surface of the eye).
Over-exposure to ultraviolet light, such as a day at the beach without proper eye protection, can cause a temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye, similar to sunburn on the skin.
Reflected sunlight from snow and water, and artificial light from sunbeds, is particularly dangerous. Always avoid looking directly at the sun. Staring directly at the sun can permanently scar the retina, the area at the back of the eye responsible for vision.
Another risk to eyes is skin cancer, which can affect the eyelids and area around the eyes. Long-term exposure to the sun can increase this risk.
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can reduce the amount of UV rays that reach your face and eyes.
Remember when buying sunglasses to think about the sides of your eyes, and consider sunglasses with wide or wraparound arms.
Health & Living