As summer beckons, Cancer Council is urging Queenslanders to slide on sunnies daily to protect themselves from cataracts, serious retina damage and cancers on the surface of the eye.
Part of the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide campaign, Queenslanders are reminded to slide on wraparound sunglasses along with using sunscreen and slapping on a hat for best protection against the sun.
Nearly half of 25-34 year old Queenslanders wear wrap-around sunglasses when outdoors, compared to about 30 per cent of those aged 16-24, and over the age 55*.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said eye protection was vital at all times when outdoors during daylight hours.
“We ask Queenslanders to Slip, Slop, Slap whenever the UV Index is three or above – but when it comes to eye protection, the recommendations are a little different,” Ms Clift said.
“Damage to the eye can occur regardless of the UV Index level, so it’s essential that Queenslanders wear wraparound sunglasses at all times when outside during daylight hours.
“Be sure to reduce exposure of the eye to UV radiation as much as possible, ensure your sunglasses meet the Australian/New Zealand standard, and wear a broad-brimmed hat.
“Choosing wraparound, close-fitting, large-lens sunglasses provide the best protection by reducing direct and reflected UV radiation and glare.
“Wearing a broad-brimmed hat along with wraparound sunglasses can reduce UV radiation exposure to the eyes by up to 98 per cent.”
It’s estimated around 20 per cent of cataracts occur due to UV radiation exposure to the eye.
Cancer Council Queensland recommends Queenslanders choose a pair of sunglasses that meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard and have the correct classifications and labelling.
“Always look for wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1067:2003 and an Eye Protection Factor (EPF) 10,” Ms Clift said.
“Choose sunglasses with a clearly-labelled lens category two, three or four, rather than basic fashion spectacles.
“The Standard doesn’t cover tinted or prescription glasses – though some may provide protection from UV or be coasted with a UV protective layer.
“If you wear prescription glasses, ask your optometrist about the level of UV protection they provide.”
Cancer Council-endorsed prescription lens coatings that block up to 95 per cent of transmitted and reflected UV are available from optical outlets, for use on prescription lenses.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available on 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171