By Alexa Kaczka
With many people heading away in the coming weeks as they look to catch some summer sun, thousands will be unknowingly exposing their eyes to harmful UV rays.
However, one expert has offered advice to people to ensure their vision is safeguarded in the sun.
Dr Hassan Imam, head of the Ophthalmology Department at Al Noor Hospital Abu Dhabi Khalifa branch, told Gulf Today that there are some very simply steps people can take to ensure that their eyesight is not compromised this summer.
These include wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection, particularly certified ones where people can be sure that the products they are using offer legitimate protection, he noted.
There are also many contact lenses on the market which people can use to provide extra protection against the sun's UV rays, with these products teaming well with sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat, or even both.
Dr Imam told the news provider that people who wear regular glasses also have an increased risk of eye damage while in the sun, as the power of the UV rays is magnified through the lenses.
Staying out of the sun when it is at its most powerful and highest in the sky – around noon – is also a good means of protecting the eyes, the expert added.
He went on to explain that another major eye risk is posed by the Adeno eye virus, which people can avert by avoiding direct contact with anyone suffering from the condition.
"If left untreated, this affection could result in a permanent dot on the cornea. The most common symptoms are red eyes and watery eye discharge which is usually treated with eye drops and antibiotics," Dr Imam told Gulf Today.
Recently the dangers of UV rays to the eyes were highlighted by Graham Cox, professional services manager for Ultralase, who said that the number one thing people need to do to protect their eyes is minimise UV exposure.
by Adrian Galbreth