Sun and ultraviolet (UV) light

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light has been linked to certain eye conditions including cataract, and there may be a link between exposure to UV light and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you should protect your eyes from the sun.

Protecting yourself in the sun

Make sure that you and your children have good quality, dark sunglasses with UV protection that carry the British Standard (BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013) or CE mark. This will ensure that the sunglasses offer a safe level of UV protection. You can also protect your eyes by making sure to wear a hat with a brim or a sun visor in bright sunlight.

Scientific studies have shown that children who spend time outdoors are less likely to be short-sighted, and some eye problems are linked to unhealthy lifestyles. So don’t stop your child exercising outdoors – just make sure their eyes are properly protected.


Sunbeds have been linked to skin cancer, so they are best avoided. If you do use a sun bed, always make sure you wear eye protection while tanning.

The skin on eye lids is very thin and delicate so it is vital to protect eye lids from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Lack of protection could lead to benign eye growths called pterygium and repeated exposure to UV may cause long-term damage which could affect your sight – see cataract and AMD.

So it is vital that you use effective eye protection in the form of goggles or ‘winkies’ on both sun and tanning beds.

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