TORONTO, July 17, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Wearing sunglasses on a sunny day is second nature for most Canadians, but few realize that their eyes are susceptible to UV damage even in cloudy weather.
"The sun's UV rays are still present on cloudy and overcast days thereby increasing your risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and other serious eye conditions," says Dr. Keith Gordon, CNIB's vice president of research. "The best line of defense is prevention - and wearing quality, UV-protective sunglasses is vital in safeguarding your eyes from future damage."
To protect your eyes from the dangers of UV radiation, CNIB recommends all Canadians:
...wear sunglasses with at least 99 per cent protection from UVA and UVB rays year-round, even on cloudy days;
...if you require vision correction, wear contact lenses that provide UV protection and pair them with quality sunglasses for an added layer of defense;
...wear a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap when outside; and
...stay out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are the strongest. Practicing proactive vision care and wearing UV-protective sunglasses is especially important for children.
Annually, children are exposed to three times more UV rays than adults because they tend to spend more time outdoors. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that up to 80 per cent of UV damage occurs before age 18.
"The lenses in young people's eyes are less capable of filtering UV compared to adult eyes, which is why it's so important for parents to instill in their children the habit of diligently wearing sunglasses from a very early age," says Dr. Gordon.
This summer, CNIB and its partners The Weather Network, Sundog Eyewear and ACUVUE® brand contact lenses are calling upon Canadians of all ages to wear UV-protective sunglasses whenever outside. If you're a contact lens wearer, consider pairing your shades with UV protective contact lenses for an added layer of defense. For more information on how you can protect your eyes and participate in the movement, visit cnib.ca/wearapair.
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit cnib.ca or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.