[Partner Post] Dr. Aaron Goffinet’s 5 tips for Talking to Patients About Sun Protection

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A majority of Americans know they need to protect their skin from the sun, but only about 5% know to protect their eyes.1 With summer here, Dr. Aaron Goffinet, professional development director at Essilor, wants to ensure patients understand how important it is to shield their eyes from the sun. Here are the questions he poses to patients about total eye protection this summer season.

1.
"Most of us are aware of the damaging effects of UV on the skin and the eyes. Are you aware that the sun also emits vast amounts of Harmful Blue Light?2 Over time, with continuous exposure, Harmful Blue Light can damage the retina and retina cells, which are essential for your vision. Does your sunwear provide both UV and Harmful Blue Light Protection?”

2. Have you heard of E-SPF®3? E-SPF® measures UV reflections from both the front and back sides of a lens. Xperio UV™ lenses have an E-SPF® 50+, the highest level of UV protection offered within the E-SPF index, and I recommend them for optimal eye protection.

3. “Would you go to a Proctologist for a teeth cleaning? Would you go to your Dentist to get your hearing checked? Then why would you go to a department store to purchase your sunglasses? Prescription sunwear with both UV and Harmful Blue Light protection are essential to your eye health and can only be purchased through your eyecare provider.”

4. “Did you know that ultra-dark sunglasses prompt our pupil to dilate (enlarge), which can allow for UV rays and Harmful Blue Light to enter? So, while department store sunglasses may protect you from UV light, most might not protect from Harmful Blue Light, which can, paradoxically, lead to damage to your eyes over time and with continuous exposure.”

5. “Approximately 85% of UV damage occurs before the age of 18.4 That’s typically because children don’t wear total protection sunglasses. In addition, cumulative UV exposure can lead to cataracts later in life. So, if you could do something for your children now that helps protect their life-long vision, why wouldn’t you?”

Eyecare professionals can have a significant impact on the public awareness of eye health in relation to the sun. Use some of Dr. Goffinet’s questions and let patients know that the sun can damage more than just their skin.

1. www.ThinkAboutYourEyes.com (Accessed on June 17, 2019).

2. Harmful Blue Light is the blue-violet wavelengths between 415-455nm on the light spectrum believed most toxic to retinal cells.

3. E-SPF is an index rating the overall UV protection of a lens. E-SPF® was developed by Essilor International and endorsed by third party experts. The E-SPF® index relates to lens performance only and excludes direct eye exposure that depends on external factors (wearer’s morphology, frame shape, position of wear).

4. Sliney DH. Geometrical assessment of ocular exposure to environmental UV radiation, Implications for ophtalmic epidemiology. J Epidemiol.