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UA researcher David Piñero warns that ultraviolet radiation can cause ocular complications in the retina and cornea

Children are particularly sensitive to this radiation since their lenses are very transparent until adolescence. All alterations can be prevented using a suitable pair of sunglasses certified by the European Community (EC)



Alicante. Wednesday, 25 July 2018

There is no doubt that we must protect our little ones from the sun. We must keep in mind that we are broadly exposed to ultraviolet rays (the most energetic radiation) which may end up in causing skin burns and eye complications in the retina and cornea, despite the fact that most of the harmful radiation that comes from the sun is absorbed by the atmosphere.

"All these alterations can be prevented with appropriate use of a pair of sunglasses certified by the European Community (EC), which comply with European regulations", as stated by David Piñero from the University of Alicante Department of Optics, Pharmacology and Anatomy


 Scaremongering advertising

We should not forgotten that sunglasses are key for visual health and, therefore, must be supervised by a registered optician or optometrist. "It is important to avoid the use of filters and alleged protective elements that are sold even in supermarkets using unduly alarming advertising. In most cases the possibility of alleged "blindness" in their children is suggested if they are not protected from the sun and also from a supposed damage by the blue light of screens and electronic devices,” Piñero insisted. According to the expert, the existing scientific evidence "does not reveal that this damage can occur since the light emitted by screens is not intense enough to generate the effects reported at experimental level in animals in any study. Therefore, protection, without getting obsessed, is recommended”

As far as protection from solar radiation is concerned, special eye protection from the sun from June to August is key, since it is the season when ultraviolet radiation is the strongest.

"Ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for our eyes and produces a cumulative effect that could trigger, in some cases, problems in the photoreceptors, progressive poor vision, alterations in the field of vision, alterations in the skin surrounding the eyeball, retinal degenerations, or the appearance of a pterygium, a tissue that invades the cornea. The development of small freckles in the iris has been shown to be a potential biomarker of the presence of chronic ocular sun damage,” as explained by the UA researcher.


2 and 3 filter categories

Children are especially sensitive to this radiation, since their lenses are very transparent until adolescence, in which case more protection filters are needed. According to the European regulations on sunglasses, sun protection filters are classified into five categories, from 0 to 4. In children, it is advisable to use filters of categories 2 and especially 3, with very resistant lenses and side pieces.

"Although protection is necessary, it must be borne in mind that solar radiation in children is also necessary to maintain the child's levels of vitamin D and vital rhythms. The choice of the characteristics of the type of light transmitted by the crystal and, therefore, that reaches the eye can affect the process of suppression of melatonin, a hormone released by the endocrine system which regulates many of the bodily functions, especially in the reproductive system, the sexual impulse, growth and mood. Therefore, the idea is not to completely filter the solar radiation, but to filter what is necessary to avoid damage without altering the child’s vital functions,” David Piñero stated.

There are solar filters with the right properties to provide the protection children need, and it is always necessary to take into account the filters certified by the EC to verify that a product is approved. In case of products that offer miraculous remedies and excessive protection, it is necessary to consult if there is scientific evidence that supports it or it is just a commercial strategy", as suggested by UA researchers.


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