Ski Enthusiasts Reminded to Wear UV Protection for Eyes

If you are one of the lucky estimated 40,000 Irish skiers getting ready to hit the slopes this season, remembering the importance of protective eye wear needs to be a key part of your kit preparations, according to the training and professional body for eye doctors in Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists, Eye Doctor Patricia Quinlan at The Blackrock Clinic said,

"Most of us remember to wear eye protection and sunscreen in the summer, but we probably don't think about it as much during the winter. Sun reflecting off the snow can be very harsh on our eyes and exposure to UV radiation can even be high on cloudy days; the highest exposure is at midday. This extends through late winter and into early spring. Exposure to UV also increases with elevation.”

Dr Quinlan added, “Excessive exposure to UV light reflected off snow can damage the eyes' front surface. Staring directly at the sun can permanently scar the retina, the area at the back of the eye responsible for vision. In addition to cataracts and AMD, UV damage to the retina as a result of excessive unprotected UV light exposure can lead to the development of tumours.”

When buying your holiday shades, remember to check they have a 100 pc UV factor and carry the CE Mark which indicates they meet the European safety standards. Bigger is better so choosing a style which offers the greatest eye area coverage is also advised by eye doctors.

How to make an appointment to see an Eye Doctor

If you have a concern about your eye health it is important to have your eyes examined by an eyedoctor. For an appointment to see any medical specialist working in the HSE, including eye doctors, you need to get a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). A GP has knowledge of the specialists in his/her area and can ensure that any important information relating to your medical history is passed to the eye doctor.

While it is advisable to seek a referral from your GP many eye doctors working in the community will give you an appointment directly.

18th November 2018