The Spectator

Sun Awareness Week 2021

Sun Awareness Week 2021 hero image

May 3rd – 9th is Sun Awareness week, a national campaign created by The British Association of Dermatologists to raise awareness of skin cancer and protecting yourself from the sun. UV radiation is the main cause of skin cancer and can also cause damage to your eyes.

People often get confused about what constitutes as ‘sun exposure’ and do not realise that a sunny winters day can be just as dangerous as a summer’s day. And whilst many understand the consequences of exposing the skin to UV, as little as 7% associate it with eye problems.

In moderation, sun exposure can be beneficial, as when your skin is exposed to the light, the body produces vitamin D and is essential to keep your bones healthy and strong. However, overexposure to UV is one of the leading causes of cataracts and photokeratitis. The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation!

Here are some myths and conceptions about sunglasses, and our top tips to debunk these and promote eye health.

  • I only need to wear sunglasses on a sunny day.

FALSE. UV is always present and can get through clouds even on the most overcast days. The sun can also be reflected off surfaces such as snow and ice and can lead to photokeratitis, also known and snow blindness.

  • Does my child need sunglasses?

YES. It is predicted that half a person’s lifetime exposure to UV occurs by the age of 18 due to children spending so much time outdoors. It is just as important to protect their eyes as it is ours.

  • Expensive sunglasses offer better protection.

FALSE. The price of your sunglasses doesn’t have any impact on the protection they offer. If your sunglasses offer 100% protection from UVA/UVB radiation it doesn’t matter how much they cost.

  • Polarised lenses protect my eyes more.

FALSE. Polarised lenses do not protect your eyes any more than standard lenses, however they are useful for removing glare making driving and sports more enjoyable.

  • Are bigger sunglasses better?

YES. The larger the sunglasses, the more coverage and protection is provided over the eyes. Wraparound sunglasses will help protect the eyes from UV entering from the side of the eye.

  • Do the different coloured lenses have different levels of protection?
NO. The lens colours and darkness do not change the level of protection. These are mainly cosmetic options, and tinted lenses are often chosen by sports players as they offer increased contrast.


Use the 5 S’s to keep yourself and your loved ones protected from the sun and UV and prevent any damage to the skin and eyes.

SLIP on a t-shirt

SLOP on SPF 30+ UVA suncream

SLAP on a broad rimmed hat

SLIDE on a pair of sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection

SHADE from the sun whenever possible.

For any more information about sunglasses, and UV protection speak to a member of our team today, or pop in and browse our sunglasses collection.