Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the Sun’s harmful UV rays is essential to avoid long-term, irreversible, sight damage, warns Northamptonshire’s sight support charity, NAB, as part of their #ShoutOutForShades campaign.

50% of all sight loss is avoidable and UV light contributes to the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration. The effects are cumulative so the more exposed your eyes are to UV rays, the higher the danger of damage to the cornea, retina and lens.

Young people under 18 are particularly at risk of UV sight damage, partly because they have larger pupils and clearer lenses but also because younger people tend to be outdoors more. 80% of all the UV light absorbed by your eyes happens before you are 18, yet a reported 70% do not wear sunglasses to protect their eyes.

The #ShoutOutForShades campaign is being sponsored by three local Optometrists – Greens Opticians in Kingsthorpe, Abingdon Eye Care and Kingsthorpe Eye Care all in Northampton. Local primary schools across the County are holding #ShoutOutForShades mufti days to raise awareness and money for their local sight support charity, NAB.

Alexander Lohman, NAB’s Chief Executive said:

“We are trying to get everyone in the County protecting their eyes from the Sun as part of our mission to reduce avoidable Sight Loss. Everyone know that the Sun can burn your skin, and potentially cause skin cancer, but the fact that your eyes sight is also damaged often gets left out.”

There are an estimated 21,540 people living with some degree of disabling sight loss in Northamptonshire. By 2030, as the county’s population grows and ages, this number could rise to over 32,000. Reducing avoidable sight loss is therefore crucial.

For more information please contact us on 01604 719193.

As Northamptonshire’s local sight loss charity, NAB provides advice, support and products to help visually impaired people live life to the full. We do this through our empathy, experience and expertise.

Vision is a remarkable gift we mostly take for granted but its loss can be life-changing. We believe no one in Northamptonshire should face sight loss alone and unsupported.