Know how to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays: Myths and truths of sun protection

sunglassesThis is a collaborative post.

While we all know that we should protect our skin from harmful sun radiation, do you ever think of your eyes and how they get affected by harmful UV rays? Are you doing everything you can to protect your eyesight when in the sun?

Looking after your eyes in the sun is as important as looking after your skin. Do you know that your eyes can even get sunburned? And do you really think that all sunglasses offer UV protection? There are some myths around sun protection which people think are true and this post will shed some light on what’s the myth and what’s the truth so you can protect your eyes better and keep them healthier for longer.

Do you think you know everything about sun protection? Read the statements below and decide whether they are true or not before reading the explanation.

Thank you to Vision Direct who have provided these myths and truths about sun protection (in association with the eye research charity Fight for Sight).

In the UK, UV exposure is highest in the summer.

Myth: UV exposure is the same all year round, whether it’s summer, winter, spring or autumn.

You don’t need to wear sunglasses on a cloudy day.

Myth: Clouds only reduce the amount of UV by around 10 percent, so on an overcast day, remember to wear your shades.

UV damage to the eyes can be reversed.

Myth: Unfortunately, sun damage to the eyes is cumulative. This means that it gradually builds up over time and can’t be reversed.

Children are more vulnerable to UV exposure than adults

Truth: As you get older, your lens naturally absorbs more UV to protect your retina. Kids under 5 have particularly vulnerable eyes, so it’s especially important that they’re protected.

Darker tinted lenses will provide more UV protection.

Myth: The tint of a sunglasses’ lens has no effect on UV protection, but does change the amount of light that goes into your eyes.

All sunglasses offer UV protection

Myth: Not all sunglasses are made equal! Look out for shades with the CE mark to guarantee they meet the European standard for UV protection.

People with blue eyes are more at risk of UV damage.

Truth: Blue eyes contain less of a protective pigment called melanin, which makes UV exposure more of a risk for people with blue eyes than it is for those with darker eyes.

Your eyes are 10x more sensitive to UV than your skin.

Truth: Your eyes are even more susceptible to burning than your skin. With the lasting damage that UV exposure can cause, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses to avoid burning.

UV levels are higher in tropical areas.

Truth: UV levels are more intense at both higher altitudes and in tropical areas near the equator. The further you live from the equator, the less risk there is.

Exposure to UV can lead to eye condition.

Truth: Frequent exposure to UV can lead to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, which can both impair sight.

All car windows have UV filters.

Myth: A study in the U.S. found that side windows blocked only 71 per cent of rays, compared with 96 per cent in the windscreen (JAMA Ophtalmology).

If you liked these myths and truths don’t forget to share them with others so that they can benefit as well!

Pin the infographic below:

Infographic: myths and truths of sun protection


  1. Great post, very informative! Now I am off to read “5 foods that help promote healthy eyes”

  2. Informative post. I’ve heard those myths about cloudy days and darker tinted glasses a lot. Good that you are spreading the word to inform people.