Lens company Essilor has launched a national campaign to help raise the public’s awareness of the impact which overexposure to UV rays can have on their eyes.
Coinciding with last week’s hot weather, which saw temperatures peak at 37 degrees celsius, the Think About Your Eyes campaign reported that people in the UK are exposed to an average of one hour, 45 minutes of sunlight a day. This is seven times the safe daily limit of exposure recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, campaign organisers stressed.
A survey of more than 1,000 people which was carried out as part of the campaign reported that 52% of respondents were aware that the cumulative effect of sun damage to the eyes can result irreversible vision changes, however, admitted to taking little precautions to protect their eyes.
The survey identified men and women over the age of 55 as those with the highest levels of exposure during the week, at one hour 24 minutes. Furthermore, those aged between 45–54 were the worst offenders at the weekend (one hour 45 minutes).
As part of the initiative, organisers have visited some of the UK’s known ‘hot spots’ for high UV levels. The tour begun in Cardiff (30 June), before heading to Bath, Bristol, Wolverhampton, Blackpool and Leeds. In each city, campaign mascots, The Protectors, were joined by local celebrities and opticians to raise awareness.
Essilor head of marketing, Jonathan Cohen, said: “Although as consumers we are exposed to public health awareness campaigns and messages, there is very little information available in relation to eye health. It’s a sad fact that many consumers don’t appreciate their vision until they’ve lost it and we all know that prevention is an easier solution than a cure. If through the Think About Your Eyes campaign we can provide advice that consumers take note of whilst supporting our customers then the campaign will continue to meet its ongoing objectives.”