E-vision simulator:
View in High Contrast

Help Spread the Word on Eye Health


The organisers of National Eye Health Week (NEHW) are inviting everyone in optics to support this year’s awareness campaign (23-29 September 2024) and help spread the word on eye health.  

National Eye Health Week is the biggest and most effective independent public eye health campaign in the UK, sharing important eye care advice with tens of millions of people every year[ [1]. However, there are still many in optics who are missing the opportunity to join the conversation and shout about the vital role eye care practitioners play in keeping Britain healthy.

David Cartwright, chair of Eye Health UK, the charity responsible for running NEHW comments: “Good eye care is essential for good general health, yet awareness of its importance remains low across important groups, including the public and policy-makers. Far too many people don’t currently access primary eye care services and continue to adopt lifestyle habits that needlessly increase their risk of living with sight loss or poor eye health.

NEHW provides a unique platform to put eye care at the heart of the NHS’ prevention programme, ensuring early detection of disease and encouraging individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices.

David continues: “If the entire sector joined forces to raise the profile of optics, we could ensure important messages about eye care get heard and help make a positive difference to the state of the nation’s eye health. In-fact, it could be a real game-changer for optics.”

Details about the daily themes and some exciting new initiatives launching for NEHW 2024 will be unveiled in the spring,

in the meantime though here are five simple ways individuals and organisations can start preparing for this important awareness-raising week…


1.     SAVE THE DATE! Put 23-29 September in your diary and get ready to spread the word on eye health.


2.     REGISTER FOR FREE RESOURCES. Email your name, business name and contact details to info@visionmatters.org.uk to register to receive a free promotional toolkit


3.     FOLLOW & SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Join the conversation on your social channels by following us on:

Instagram @NationalEyeHealthWeek

X (formerly Twitter) @myvisionmatters

Facebook @NationalEyeHealthWeek


4.      BECOME AN OFFICIAL PARTNER - Larger organisations interested in our official partnership programme should contact rachel@visionmatters.org.uk


5.     DONATE - The scale, scope and reach of the Week relies on financial backing from the sector and other third parties as no public funds are currently available to support the initiative (although securing public funding is one of the charity’s medium-term ambitions).

Making a contribution is easy. Simply click the voluntary levy button on your PCSE Online account and ‘OPT IN’ to the Eyecare Trust voluntary levy scheme.

Alternatively, contact rachel@visionmatters.org.uk for details about making a one-off donation.  Every penny raised really does make a difference and benefits both the public and the profession.


Published ; February 2024

Executive Summary NEHW 2023

Click the image below to download an executive summary of the NEHW 2023 campaign.

Image of the Executive summary of the NEHW 2023 CampaignEva


Published: December 2023


Take care when opening your festive fizz!

Every year scores of Brits suffer serious / sight threatening eye injuries after being hit by corks as they ‘pop’ from bottles of fizz.

Injuries caused by corks as they fly out of the bottle at speeds of up to 60mph, range from bloodshot and black eyes to detached retinas and intraocular haemorrhages. Being hit in the eye by a cork can also lead to the onset of glaucoma and in extreme cases the loss of an eye.

So, always crack open the bubbly with care.


Here are our top tips to avoiding eye injuries when enjoying your festive fizz!

- Make sure you chill your fizz – a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.

- Keep the protective wire over the cork until you’re ready to pour to prevent it popping open unexpectedly!

- Don’t shake it. Shaking the bottle increases the pressure inside and can result in an even more explosive reaction when you crack it open.

- When opening, cover the top of the bottle with a cloth (a tea towel is perfect), then holding it at a 45-degree angle gently twist the bottle whilst holding the cork.


Remember, never ever point the bottle towards yourself or others when opening. 

In the event that a cork does hit you in the eye you should seek immediate medical attention to minimise any potential damage to your vision.


Eye Trauma Services

Access the urgent eye care service if available in your local area (find out more here) or contact your local eye accident and emergency service. Find your nearest Eye A&E here.

NHS 111 also available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. 111.nhs.uk.


Published: 5 December 2023

How to be Screen SMART

One in four UK adults are now spending 14 hours or more a day on screens[1] – that’s twice as long as the average person spends sleeping a night![2] With such high levels of screen-time it’s important we’re all aware of the impact this can have on our eye health and understand some simple steps we can take to minimise the effects.

Screen fatigue
Looking at screens won’t permanently damage your eyes; however, it may cause eye strain, headaches, and trigger episodes of visual stress.

These reactions to prolonged screen use are commonly known as ‘screen fatigue’ and while symptoms tend to subside after resting your eyes, screen fatigue can be uncomfortable and frustrating.

Extended screen time can also make symptoms of existing eye conditions such as uncorrected myopia (short-sightedness) more pronounced.

Eye complaints
Symptoms associated with staring at a screen for long stretches without taking breaks can include:

Tired eyes. Ocular muscles, like any others, can get tired from continued focus on close work.
• Viewing a screen for extended periods can lead to headaches and concentration difficulties.
Blurred vision. Gazing at a fixed distance for an extended period can cause your focus to spasm or ‘lock up’. This can cause your vision to blur temporarily when you look away from the screen.
Dry eyes. Studies consistently show that people’s blink rate drops significantly when concentrating on a digital screen. A reduced blink rate can speed up evaporation of the eyes’ tear film resulting in dry, itchy, red or even watery eyes.

Minimise the effects
Being screen SMART can help prevent symptoms of screen fatigue and keep your eyes feeling fresh and bright.:

Switch off! Make sure you switch off your screen before bedtime. Over stimulation from screen light at night can increase eye strain and wreak havoc with your sleep.

Measure the distance between your face and your device to prevent your eyes working too hard. The 1, 2, 10 method is a good rule of thumb. Keep phone screens 1 foot (about 30 cm) away from your face, laptops and monitors 2 feet away (65cm+) and TVs 10 feet (3.3 metres).

Adjust your environment to ensure it’s an eye-friendly space. Are you sitting comfortably? Are copy documents positioned at roughly the same distance as your eyes are from the screen? Have you minimised any glare or reflections from windows and lighting? Are you using a suitable font size (12pts+)? Have you cleaned your screen?

Also, always remember to wear any eyewear prescribed for screen use.

Refresh your eyes by consciously blinking. Your blink rate can fall by as much as 60% when
looking at a screen; leaving them prone to dry eye. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water too.

For an instant refresh try closing your eyes and rolling your eyeball around behind the closed lid.

Take a break – Give your eyes a rest by following the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your screen every twenty minutes, for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away. You should also break up screen time by spending time outdoors – A couple of hours outdoor activity a day can help counter eye strain caused by focusing on close work such as staring at screens or reading.

If you regularly use a screen for work your employer will pay the cost of regular eye tests and cover costs of eyewear if it is prescribed specifically for screen use. Ask you HR or Occupational Health Team for information about their eye care policy and benefits for employees.

Eye Health UK


[1] New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain, University of Leeds, 2022
[2] YouGov Sleep Study, 2022

Millions missing out on essential eye care

National campaign launches to encourage people to ‘get back into the habit’ of having regular eye tests, as data shows 4.7 million NHS sight tests have been lost since the pandemic disrupted people’s healthcare routines[1] and 1 in 5 have postponed or cancelled a sight test in the past year due to cost concerns[2]. 

The campaign, part of National Eye Health Week (18-24 September), comes as health analysts predict a million more Brits will suffer one of the four main causes of blindness in the next decade; with cases of late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – the UK’s leading cause of sight loss – estimated to rise 25% by 2032, early-stage AMD (drusen) up 16%, cataract 25%, glaucoma 17% and incidence of diabetic retinopathy up five per cent[3].

See the map below for UK hotspots at increased risk of future eye disease.

David Cartwright Chair of Eye Health UK comments: “Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of common eye conditions are key to reducing the number of people suffering sight loss unnecessarily. Half of sight loss could be avoided simply by ensuring we have our eyes checked regularly, not smoking, and, keeping ourselves fit and well by eating a healthy-balanced diet, staying active and wearing sun protection.”

Regular sight tests are essential health checks for everyone, even if you think your eyes are fine, as damage may be done before you notice it yourself and your optometrist can detect microscopic changes inside the eye. In fact, they can spot glaucoma years before you notice a change in your vision! Changes within the eye can lead to refractive error (short- or long-sight), eye disease and other vision ailments, and can also indicate underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, risk of stroke and heart disease.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien said: “Regular sight tests are essential for everyone – half of sight loss could be avoided simply by having our eyes checked regularly – and free NHS testing is already available for several groups including children, people aged over 60 and those on income-related benefits.

“We are also making free eye tests available within all special school settings and during the past five years the National Institute for Health Research has invested more than £100 million into research on eye conditions.”

Broadcaster, model, best-selling author, and activist, Katie Piper OBE shares: “My own parents were very strict on routine sight tests when I was younger. I know the power of science, and often with eyes, how quickly things can change, so full eye health checks for my own family are a non-negotiable”[4].

Anyone worried about the cost of eye care should discuss their entitlement to NHS services and other affordable eye care options with their local optician. There are options to suit every budget, so fear of cost should not be a barrier to caring for your vision and eye health.
Lifestyle habits also have a significant impact on eye health regardless of your genetic predisposition[5].

Some of the ways your lifestyle could put you at increased risk of avoidable sight loss include:

Smoking. Smokers have a significantly greater risk of sight loss than non-smokers. Toxic chemicals in cigarettes and vapes can damage the delicate surface and the internal structure of the eye. This can lead to an increased risk of many eye conditions including AMD; nuclear cataracts; thyroid eye disease; dry eye and impaired colour vision. For help to quit visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

Poor diet. Most of us have no idea that what we eat can affect how well we see, however, eye-friendly nutrients found in many fruit and vegetables and fatty acids derived from fish, nuts and oils can all help protect your sight. Vitamins B and E can help protect against cataracts whilst Omega-3 fish oils help maintain healthy blood vessels inside the eye. Try Marcus Wareing’s Cauliflower Curry https://www.visionmatters.org.uk/downloads/nehw23-marcus-waring-cauliflower-recipe-card-a5.pdf for a tasty dish rich in eye-friendly nutrients.

Lack of exercise. Aerobic exercise can help increase oxygen supplies to the optic nerve and lower any pressure that builds up in the eye. Reducing intraocular pressure can help control conditions such as glaucoma. Get active with https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/get-active/

Being overweight. More than half of all British adults are overweight however maintaining a healthy weight helps preserve macula pigment density, which in turn, helps protect the retina against the breakdown of cells and the onset of AMD. Obesity also puts you at increased risk of diabetic retinopathy and damage to blood vessels in the eye caused by excess body weight has been linked to glaucoma. For help to lose weight visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/lose-weight/

Sun exposure. Cumulative exposure to the sun’s UV rays can increases your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataract. Always wear sunglasses when the UV index rises above three, even on cloudy days and check your sunglasses carry a UV400, CE or British Standard Mark to ensure they provide adequate UV protection. 

Check if you are at increased risk of future sight loss using on the online eye health calculator.


Future Risk of Sight Loss Map

The attached map illustrates areas of the UK where residents have above average risk of future sight loss caused by the four most common causes of eye disease – age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Future eye disease map


Areas at highest risk: Cornwall; Devon; Dorset; Gloucestershire; Isle of Wight; Leicestershire; London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Hounslow Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Newham, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Westminster; Mid-Lothian; Northamptonshire; Northern Ireland; Somerset. Plus, pockets of Derbyshire.


About Common Eye Diseases

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) impairs your central field of vision and is Britain’s leading cause of blindness affecting around 700,000 people across the UK.

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve and disturbs your peripheral vision. If left untreated it can lead to total loss of sight. You can lose as much as 40 per cent of your vision before you notice your vision has changed.

Cataracts are a clouding of the eyes’ lens. Over half of those over 65s have some cataract development and most cases can be treated successfully with surgery.

Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.


For a glimpse of how vision is affected by these conditions click here


About NHS Eye Care Services

NHS Sight Tests and Optical Vouchers

NHS Eye Care Support for people living on low incomes

Additional Primary Eye Care Services (England)

NHS Eyecare Services in Wales 

NHS Eye Care in Scotland

NHS Eye Care in Northern Ireland

Many areas of the UK offer NHS appointments at opticians for symptoms such as:

- Minor eye injury
- Red eye
- Painful eye
- Foreign body
- Sudden loss/change in vision
- New onset flashes/floaters

There’s no need to see your GP. Opticians can make swift accurate diagnosis and issue prescriptions or refer direct to secondary care.

[1] Calculated using NHS GOS Statistics for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Comparison of sight test volumes for the period Apr 2017 – March 2020 Vs Apr 2020 – March 2023.
[2] Survey of 2,003 UK Adults commissioned by College Optometrists, May 2023.
[3] Calculated using RNIB, Sight Loss Data Tool V.5.2 accessed September 2023. Figures include patients in early stages of eye disease who might not have recognised symptoms.
[4] From an exclusive interview Katie has given to Vista, the official National Eye Health Week magazine. 
[5] Kristin J. Myers et al. Ophthalmology Journal Vol 122

National Eye Health Week 2023 – First Look

Eye Health UK, the charity behind National Eye Health Week (NEHW) 2023 has announced the daily themes for this year’s campaign. During seven days of intense activity between 18–24 September themes will focus on:


NHS Eye Care & Support – highlighting eligibility for NHS sight tests and optical vouchers plus a look at the range of services provided by high street opticians, including CUES and MECs; as well as the importance of routine eye tests.

Myopia and Me – A tween to teen campaign highlighting increasing levels of myopia, why early diagnosis is important and advances in myopia management and control.

Digital Eye Care – Top tips to prevent screen fatigue whilst at work, rest and play.

Eye on Mental Health – Exploring the links between eye health and your mental well-being.

Live Well, See Well – How lifestyle factors can influence eye health. This will be supported by the publication of Vista, a 52-page consumer magazine packed with essential lifestyle advice to help you take the best care of your vision and eye health.  

Vision Matters Photographic Competition & Exhibition – building on growing evidence of the effectiveness of the arts in influencing the adoption of health enhancing behaviours.

Smoking & Sight Loss.



Published: 2 August 2023

Outdoor fun for the Easter holidays



It's estimated that by the year 2050 more than half of us will be short-sighted. Spending time outdoors has been shown to reduce the risk of myopia (short-sightedness) in children.

Here are our top tips for outdoor fun for kids of all ages.


Go on a Garden Bug Hunt

How many creatures can you find hiding in your garden? Try counting how many different species you can find. Grab a magnifying glass to take a closer look – how many legs has the bug got? Is it hairy? Draw pictures of what you find and create a colourful gallery of minibeasts.


Create Patio Art

Encourage your budding Van Gough to get creative and produce a giant artwork on your patio or garden path. Use chalks to create colourful designs that will simply get washed away in the rain.


Enjoy a Bike Ride.

Whether you’re going for a ride around your local park or travelling along part of the 13,500 miles that make up the National Cycle Network, cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Click here for more on the National Cycle Network


Cook up a Feast in a Mud Kitchen

All you need to make a basic mud kitchen are some old pots and pans, a couple of spoons, a patch of earth or bucket of mud (top soil is great) and water.

Kids can while away hours getting messy mixing up mud pies and foraging for decorative toppings.


Grow your Own

Nothing tases better than fruit and veg you’ve grown yourself so whether you sew a few cress seeds in an old yoghurt pot or create your very own garden allotment you can enjoy the tasty rewards of time spent outdoors tending to your crops.


Roll Play

Make action dice from cube-shaped cardboard boxes.

Draw or write a forfeit or action on each side of the cardboard box eg, do a roly poly, jump like a frog, run a lap of the garden, floss!

Then, roll or throw the dice and follow the action.


Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are great fun and you can play them almost anywhere. Try a colour-themed hunt and track down objects from every colour in the rainbow.


Build a Den

Whether you’re creating a den using cushions and blankets or branches and bracken den building is fun for all the family. 


Go Birdwatching

Go for a walk and see how many different types of birds you can spot. The RSPB website has a great step-by-step guide to birdwatching for beginners.  


Nature Craft

Make a self-portrait using materials you can find in your garden or local park.

Use, sticks, leaves, berries, stones, grass cuttings, feathers, conkers and moss to create your masterpiece.


Puddle Jumping

Get out whatever the weather. Pull on your wellies and go splash about in puddles.



Published : April 2023


SAVE THE DATE! **National Eye Health Week 18 – 24 September 2023**

The organisers of National Eye Health Week (NEHW) are urging everyone in optics to get behind this year’s awareness campaign (18-24 September 2023) to help spread the word on eye health.  

National Eye Health Week is the biggest and most effective independent public eye health campaign in the UK – sharing important eye care advice with tens of millions of people every year.[1] However, there is still work to be done to elevate the campaign to be one of the UK’s premier health events.

David Cartwright, chair of Eye Health UK, the charity responsible for running NEHW comments: “Awareness & public health messaging are key elements of the proposed national eye health strategy for England and are vital for improving the eye health of people across the UK. NEHW provides the ideal platform for the sector to come together to highlight the importance of routine eye tests and adopting healthy lifestyle habits to prevent avoidable sight loss and poor eye health.

David continues: “The more of us who support the campaign, the more efficacious it will be.  So, what are you wating for? Let’s work together on this important prevention initiative, because vision matters.”

Five quick and easy ways individuals and organisations can support NEHW 2023.

1.     SAVE THE DATE! Put 18 -24 September in your diary and get ready to spread the word on eye health.

2.     REGISTER FOR FREE RESOURCES. Send us your name, business name and contact details to to register for a free promotional toolkit

3.     FOLLOW & SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Join the conversation on your social channels by following Instagram @NationalEyeHealthWeek Twitter @myvisionmatters & Facebook @NationalEyeHealthWeek

4.      BECOME AN OFFICIAL PARTNER. Larger organisations interested in our official partnership programme should contact rachel@visionmatters.org.uk

5.     DONATE. The scale, scope and reach of the Week relies on financial backing from the sector and other third parties as no public funds are currently available to support the initiative (although securing public funding is one of the charity’s medium-term ambitions). Making a contribution is easy. Simply click the voluntary levy button on your PCSE Online account and ‘OPT IN’ to the Eyecare Trust voluntary levy scheme. Alternatively, contact rachel@visionmatters.org.uk for details about making a one-off donation.  Every penny raised really does make a difference and benefits both the public and the profession.

Plans and the themes for National Eye Health Week 2023 will be unveiled at an official launch in the Spring.

[1] NEHW 2022 reached 30 million+ on social media and generated 600 million ‘opportunities to see’ in traditional & online media.


Published :1 February 2023

Nation’s EYE Q is missing the mark & putting millions at risk of avoidable sight loss

One in three of us will suffer sight loss in our lifetime, yet half of this could be avoided.[1] Routine eye tests,to ensure early detection and treatment of eye conditions, and adopting healthy lifestyles are key to preventing unnecessary sight loss; however, the findings of a new report reveal many of us lack even the most basic ‘know-how’ when it comes to looking after our vision and eye health.

The Eye Q report, commissioned by Eye Health UK and Thomas Pocklington Trust to mark National Eye Health Week (19–25 September), found just one in four of us rate routine eye tests as important for maintaining good eye health.  Worryingly, the report also found more than 17.5million of us haven’t had an eye test in the last two years, as recommended; with men and minority ethnic groups most likely to skip this essential health check.

As well as fears about the cost of eye care, the misnomer that ‘if your eyes are fine you don’t need to have an eye test’ was a common reason not getting eyes checked.

The report also uncovered a shocking lack of awareness of ‘reg flag’ symptoms linked to sight-threatening eye conditions. Despite being symptoms of retinal detachment – a condition requiring urgent treatment to avoid permanent sight loss – only one in five of us (19%) would seek same-day medical attention if we suddenly saw lots of flashes and floaters in our vision, and fewer than half of us (48%) would take urgent action if we saw a shadow, veil or curtain over our vision.

When it comes to understanding how lifestyle can impact risk of sight loss a meagre eight per cent of us link exercise and eye health despite evidence showing being physically active can slash the risk of visual impairment.[2]

Eighty per cent of us are in the dark about the eye health benefits of eating a nutritionally-balanced diet; just four in 10 (38%) understand exposure to the sun’s UV can impact eye health, and, a paltry 13 per cent link smoking and sight loss, even though smoking is a direct cause of sight loss, including macular degeneration – the UK’s leading cause of blindness.[3]

Awareness that the menopause can affect eye health was also woefully low, with just 13 per cent of peri- & menopausal women[4] making a connection between the two, despite ‘the change’ triggering dry eye and blepharitis, and, increasing the risk of glaucoma and cataracts.

UV protection is vital to prevent poor eye health and future sight loss, however, one in five believe eyes only need protecting on sunny days, when in fact, eyes should be protected whenever the UV index rises to three or more,[5] even if the skies are cloudy, as 90 per cent of UV can transmit through the clouds.[6]

With increasing screen use more and more of us are suffering screen fatigue – headaches, sore or tired eyes and temporary blurring of our vision – because we don’t know how to be screen smart. Just one in seven of us follow the 20-20-20 rule [look away from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds]; only 28 per cent adjust room lighting and four in five don’t consciously blink.

Other misconceptions about factors that can have a negative impact on vision and eye health include:

75% of us think it’s okay to shower in contact lenses. It’s not. Contacts should be removed before showering to prevent water-borne infection.

72% of us are unaware of the dangers of using old mascara. Using mascara that’s been open for more than three or four months is a common cause of eye irritation and infection.

65% of us think reading in dim light could damage our eyes. It won’t. It will simply highlight any existing imperfection.

* 56% of us are unaware that rubbing our eyes could be harmful. However, excessive rubbing is linked to keratoconus – a condition that distorts your vision.

With little knowledge about how to care for our eyes and factors that can affect them it’s probably no surprise the report found 77 per cent us suffered poor eye health in the last 12 months, whilst more than half of us (52%) say our daily lives have been disrupted by the quality of our vision – affecting our ability to do, or enjoy, daily things like household chores, driving, reading or our hobbies.

The state of our eye health also affected our emotions and mental well-being. Fifty-five per cent of respondents say their vision affected their mental state – leaving them feeling frustrated (24%), anxious (16%) or stressed (13%). The affect of eye health on mental state was particularly prevalent amongst people living with sight loss[7], with 76 per cent saying their vision had affected their mental health.

Commenting on the report David Cartwright, optometrist and chair of Eye Health UK said: “With 60 per cent of us worrying about our long-term vision it’s time for us to wise up and learn how to look after our eyes. Making some simple changes to our lifestyle and having regular eye tests could give your eye health a boost and prevent future sight loss.”

Mike Bell, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Thomas Pocklington Trust added: “The Eye Q report has revealed how little knowledge there is about the importance of eye health, including amongst people already living with some form of sight loss. Looking after your eyes is just as important as looking after the rest of your body.  Regular eye health checks can help prevent or limit the damage done by many eye conditions. They can also help identify the signs of other health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. The message is clear, get regular eye health checks and never ignore changes in your vision.”


Read the full report


The Eye Q Report is based on the findings of a survey conducted by .Yonder Consulting in accordance with MRS guidelines and regulations, on a representative sample of 2,077 UK Adults aged 18+ between 24 – 25 August 2022. All figures quoted in this release are from this study unless otherwise stated.

[1] Source RNIB.
[2] Being physically active can reduce your risk of visual impairment by 58 per cent versus somebody with a sedentary lifestyle.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4047137/
[3] British Medical Journal, Vol. 328, S. 537
[4] Women aged between 45 and 54 years of age.
[5] www.epa.gov/sunwise/uv-index-scale
[6] Diffey BL and Larko O, Clinical climatology, 1984
[7] Self-certified as having sight loss that is not caused by long/short-sightedness or needing reading glasses. Or having an eye-condition such as cataracts, glaucoma, inherited eye conditions and macular degeneration that involves on-going management / treatment or could lead to permanent sight loss. Short-term eye conditions that can be cured or easily corrected (such as conjunctivitis/styes) or conditions that do not affect the eye health or vision (such as colour blindness) were also excluded.


Published: 23 September 2022

Low Autumn Sun Spells Danger for Eye Health

Unprotected exposure to Autumn sunshine can put you at increased risk of suffering common sight-threatening eye conditions such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) .


As the sun crosses the celestial equator on the Autumn Equinox (23 September 2022) the highest point on its trajectory reduces to just 40-degrees. David Cartwright chairman of Eye Health UK explains: “When the sun is high in the sky our brow bone acts like a built in sun shade and prevents damaging UV light entering the eye. When the sun is low in the sky during Autumn months the total amount of UV radiation your eyes are exposed to dramatically increases.”


Cumulative UV exposure has been found to promote the onset of cataract and has been implicated in the development of a range of other eye conditions including photokeratitis, pterygium eye cancers and macular degeneration – the UK’s leading cause of blindness.


One simple way you can tell if your eyes are in danger of UV damage is to look at your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than you, you should protect your eyes using a hat, sunglasses or UV protective lenses.


You should also protect your eyes whenever the UV Index rises to three or more. For the latest UV forecast visit the Met Office website


Published : September 2022