Children’s eyes need to be protected from the sun, more so than adults, because they are still developing. The ophthalmologist’s recommendation: hat up to 18 months, after quality sunglasses
In summer, at the sea, in the city or in the park, you need proll children’s eyes, who, up to the age of 7-8, are in the process of training. Let’s find out more about it.
Because children’s eyes must be protected from the sun
Until the age of 7-8, children’s eyes are in the process of forming. Cornea, crystalline, tear film and all the various structures are in a development phase and for this reason they are more vulnerable to the action of sunlight.
“When we talk about solar rays, we are referring not only to ultraviolet, but also to a frequency of light that is called blue light, which is between ultraviolet and visible and which can cause a lot of discomfort to the eyes and damage to long term at the level of lens and retina “says Francesco Loperfido, head of the General Ophthalmology service of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan and ophthalmologist of the Vision Defense Commission.
Blue light is present mainly in the mountains, but, albeit to a lesser extent, it also reaches sea level.
Cap and sunglasses for effective protection
To protect the baby’s eyes, up to about 18 months it is advisable to make him wear a hat with a very wide visor; from 2 years upwards the best protection is offered by sunglasses.
Even if the child is under the umbrella: in addition to the direct ultraviolet of the sun, in fact, we must consider the indirect ultraviolet, i.e. caused by reflected light: sand, for example, reflects at least 5% of UV rays, while snow more than 30%.
How to get them to wear them? Most of the time, the good example of parents is enough.
How to choose sunglasses for children
It is important that children’s glasses are of perfect optical quality and we have a certification made at an optical shop, which guarantees the quality level of both the frame and the lens.
The choice must fall on “a frame resistant to trauma and shocks and made with materials that do not cause contact allergies, plus a lens that ensures 100% protection against ultraviolet rays and has no aberrations” underlines Loperfido, an optical phenomenon that involves a deformation of the image and indicating poor quality of the lens.
To see if there are aberrations in the glasses purchased, just move the lens in a circular motion in front of the eyes, staring at an object in front of you: if the object tends to undulate, it means that the lens is not of good quality.
To ensure effective protection during a beach holiday, just buy a good product with certified UV protection.
If, on the other hand, you spend holidays in specific places, it is better to ask the optician for advice: for a holiday in the mountains, for example, you need lenses that combine UV protection with filters against blue light; if you go by boat, a polarized lens is better, which eliminates glare due to water reflection.
As for the color of the lens, you can choose the one you prefer, as long as it is dark. “The situation is different if the child has a visual defect: if myopic, the frequency of brown is better, if farsighted, the green-gray is better.
Sunglasses are also useful in case of allergies
Sunglasses offer an extra defense even in the case of allergic forms, not only because an eye reddened by the allergy has a greater sensitivity to light, but also because a slightly more enveloping frame protects against the direct impact of pollen. or allergens on the ocular surface.
The risks if you do not protect your eyes: actinic conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis
The main acute damage if you do not protect your eyes from the sun is inflammation of the conjunctiva due to ultraviolet, called actinic conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis. It is a completely different form of conjunctivitis from classic conjunctivitis (which has a viral, bacterial or allergic origin), and is caused by the dehydration process that the cornea can undergo in the sun.
Symptoms are sudden, stinging pain, burning, profuse tearing, redness, photophobia and dry eye feeling as if there is a foreign body, which makes you want to rub your eyes.
If actinic conjunctivitis is suspected, the child must first be examined by the ophthalmologist, who will evaluate a different therapy depending on the degree of intensity of the conjunctivitis: “If for a mild conjunctivitis it will be enough not to expose yourself to light for a couple of days and instill tears artificial several times a day, for the more marked forms an anti-inflammatory eye drops possibly combined with a cortisone will be indicated, for about 4-5 days “concludes the ophthalmologist.
Questions and answers
How to effectively protect children’s eyes from the sun?
Up to about 18 months it is advisable to make the child wear a hat with a very wide visor; from 2 years upwards the best protection is offered by sunglasses.
What are the risks if the eyes of children are not well protected from the sun?
The main acute damage if you do not protect your eyes from the sun is inflammation of the conjunctiva due to ultraviolet, called actinic conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis.
How to choose children’s sunglasses?
It is important that children’s glasses are of perfect optical quality …