Monday, February 22, 2010

Damaging UV rays - in All Seasons

 Print this page

Feb 22, 2010
Damaging UV rays - in All Seasons

by Sandra J. Freer

We have become very diligent to protect our skin from harmful UV rays with a huge assortment of sun screens, sun blocks, cosmetics with titanium, sun hats and even sun retardant clothing…but often neglect protection for our eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes. We often only wear sun glasses in the warm months, and in general do not wear sunglasses that guarantee sufficient UV protection. This is the reason why Essilor has created Airwear MELANINE lenses with double sunwear protection: 100% anti-UV and 98% anti-blue light. Studies have indicated that the effect of Airwear MELANINE lens on the eyes and the skin around the eyes is equivalent to wearing SPF 140+ sunblock.

Effective sunglasses are an essential part of our eye health and wellbeing. When choosing your eye protection, the price, colour or the thickness of the lens doesn’t guarantee sufficient UV protection. Even designer sunglasses with a standard tinted lens without 100% UV protection can actually allow more sunlight into your eyes than if you were not wearing sunglasses at all; because they cause the pupil to dilate, allowing a greater number of UV rays to penetrate the eye.

“Interestingly, winter poses an even greater threat to healthy eyesight because snow reflects 80% of UV rays whereas water reflects only 25% and sand, a mere 15%. Even still, a whopping 92% of Canadians are unaware of the damaging effect that unprotected sun exposure has on the eye; reports Jean-Luc of Essilor Canada; a subsidiary of Essilor International - the worldwide leader of ophthalmic optics.

Regardless of the climate, without the protection of quality sunglasses the sun’s rays can penetrate delicate eye tissue, causing serious and often irreversible damage. In the short term, unprotected eyes can experience ocular sunburn or snow opthalmia—a serious inflammation of the cornea. Prolonged unprotected sun exposure can lead to age-related macular degeneration and total or partial loss of vision. AMD is a leading cause of blindness, effecting over 1 million Canadians and the number is expected to double over the next 25 years (CNIB). Cataracts, the progressive clouding of the lens of the eye, are also caused by over exposure to the sun’s rays, affecting the eye’s ability to focus light and to see clearly.”

“Less than half of the population wears sun protection even though snowy covered surfaces are a major source of UV rays and reflected light”, explains Séverine Arnaud, head of Sunwear at Essilor Canada. “It is essential that Canadians choose quality eyes protection that guarantees a minimum shield of 380 nanometres (nm) to block the damaging effect of UV rays. This is an especially important step to take in the winter—the same way we automatically reach for sun block to protect our skin in the summer.

Standard frames do not adequately protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes. Outdoor eye protection should have wrap-around frames that cover a larger surface area to avoid the squinting effect that can occur with the sun rays on the sides of our face and eyes.

This continual squinting can produce those tiny lines around our eyes called laugh lines…for which some people seek costly Neurotoxin wrinkle injections every 3-4 months. Sunlight exposure accelerates wrinkles and one of the most delicate areas of skin tissue is around our eyes and eyelids. The Airwear MELANIN lenses can prevent the skin around the eyes from premature ageing from the sun.

Essilor provides quality sunglasses with 100% certified UV protection. The brand is known for their technologically advanced products including Crizal® Sun, an antiglare coating scientifically developed for application to the inside surface of the lens that protects the eye from UV rays coming from all directions. At work and at play, it is crucial to wear the right protection for the activity at hand and Essilor can provide protection customized to your sun protection needs. Your Optometrist or Optician is the most reliable source for prescription Sunwear with 100% UV protection and a Sunwear frame.

About Essilor Canada:

Essilor Canada is a subsidiary of Essilor International, the worldwide leader of ophthalmic optics. Essilor designs, manufactures and personalizes corrective eyeglasses to meet the needs of their wearers. Recognized for its research and development work (5% of its sales and over 500 researchers throughout the world) and the quality of its high value-added glasses, Essilor provides a wide range of technologically advanced products, including Varilux® glasses and Crizal® coatings, while differentiating itself with complete and attentive service to vision professionals who distribute its products. Essilor Canada is established throughout Canada with over 1,100 employees and almost forty laboratories.

For more information about Essilor and the effects of UV rays on the eye visit: