As we head towards the peak weeks in the school summer holidays we’d like to make you aware that it’s as important to protect our eyes as our skin to prevent UV damage that can result in associated eye health conditions including cataracts.
According to The Eyecare Trust charity, our eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV light than our skin. This means protecting our eyes against harmful UV rays should be the priority for us all. People who have high sun exposure have a greater likelihood of developing early macular degeneration changes, but the likelihood of this is considerably reduced by wearing hats or sunglasses. The College of Optometrists warned that children are particularly at risk from damage to UV exposure. A survey it carried out in 2009 with 2,000 parents, showed that 29 per cent of those questioned did not buy sunglasses for their children, and of those who did, many admitted opting for “cheap and cheerful” over quality.
Our eyes are incredibly sensitive to sunlight exposure and repeated unprotected exposure to UV rays can cause as much damage as it can to our skin. Unlike the visible effects of too much sun on your skin, early detection of eye damage is only apparent from a 3D OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) eye examination that has the ability to detect problems in the eye prior to any symptoms being present in the patient. It’s vital therefore to protect your eyes at all times by wearing prescription lenses that have a built-in filter or sunglasses that have the CE mark or British Standard BSEN 1836:1997.
We stock a range of affordable, quality sports and leisure sunglasses from leading brands including Bolle, Cebe, Adidas, Rudy, Serengeti and Maui Jim and we also offer onsite glazing of prescription sunglasses at his Chesterfield Road, Woodseats practice.
We are one of only a few optometrists in Yorkshire who has invested in sophisticated OCT equipment that is a non-invasive technology used for imaging a cross section of the retina. It can detect the early onset of a variety of eye conditions and eye diseases such as macular degeneration, macular holes, diabetic retinopathy and even optic nerve damage. Using an OCT allows for early treatment in patients and dramatically improves the success of these treatments, especially in diseases such as wet macular degeneration – where the eye disease progresses rapidly.
The OCT is similar to a CT scan which is used to image internal organs inside the body. The OCT uses an array of light to rapidly scan the eye. These scans are interpreted and the OCT then presents an image of the tissue layers within the retina. These layers can be differentiated and their thickness measured. By comparing the thickness of the layers measured by the OCT scan against the normal thickness of healthy retinal layers, eye doctors can determine which retinal disease or eye condition exists in the eye, even before the patient is aware of any symptoms.