THE majority of northern NSW residents’ judgment is clouded when it comes to wearing eye protection during overcast weather, a recent report has found.
When driving on a sunny day, 59 per cent of residents always wear sunglasses, but the figure drops to 38 per cent when it’s cloudy, suggesting people don’t realise UV exposure can still be dangerous when there’s less visible glare.
By not wearing sunglasses they’re exposing themselves to potentially serious eye damage or vision loss.
The OPSM Eye Protection Report reveals that although stocking up on sunscreen and having the right sunglasses are top of the summer-preparation list for residents from the region, as soon as the sun goes behind a cloud the sun-safety message gets hazy.
“It doesn’t matter if there is cloud cover, or what activities we are doing outdoors – it’s essential that eyes have their own version of sunscreen. Eyes are the most sensitive part of the body and need to be cared for, like the skin,” OPSM senior optometrist Anthea Muir said.
“The research shows that when the sun is out of sight, it is out of mind for many people living in northern NSW. When it’s cloudy people often think they are protected, but they aren’t.
“Residents are risking serious eye conditions by not sliding on their sunnies during the day.
“Northern NSW residents are sun-savvy by ensuring their sunglasses have sufficient UV protection, but it’s no use if they aren’t wearing them when they need to. It’s time locals start taking their eye protection seriously.”