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sunsmart for your eyes

March may signal the winding down of summer, but don’t be fooled by the cooler weather – harmful UV rays are still at play, even on overcast days. (Did you know that over 80% of UV radiation can still get through on a cloudy day? Plus, it might surprise you to know that September to April are the months with the highest levels of UV in New Zealand.)

As we approach the end of summer, it’s important to stay SunSmart, especially in New Zealand where March serves as our official reminder to be SunSmart.

UV levels peak during summer but remain significant in spring and autumn. Understanding UV levels is key:

  • Low UV (1-2): Generally safe for outdoor activities but caution for prolonged exposure.
  • Moderate UV (3-5): Sun protection is necessary.
  • High UV (6-7): Protection is essential.
  • Very high UV (8-10): Seek shade and additional cover (e.g. a hat).
  • Extreme UV (11+): Reschedule outdoor activities for early morning or evening.

You can easily stay informed about UV levels in your area using resources like Windy on Google Play or the App Store, or by visiting NIWA for today’s UV index.

With excessive UV exposure linked to corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration, protecting your eyes is important. Here are some tips you can follow to make it easy:

Invest in Quality Sunglasses: Look for labels indicating 100% UV protection or UV400.

Consider Polarised Lenses: These lenses reduce glare from surfaces like water, sand, and pavements, enhancing visual clarity and comfort.

Try TransitionsTM Lenses: These lenses constantly adjust to changing light conditions, providing continuous UV protection. TransitionsTM Lenses automatically lighten when indoors and darken when outdoors. We have these in stock in a range of colours including emerald and blue.

Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat: Pairing sunglasses with a wide-brimmed hat adds an extra layer of protection by shading your face and your eyes from direct sunlight.

Be Mindful of Peak Sun Hours: Avoid prolonged outdoor activities between 11am and 3pm when UV rays are strongest. Schedule your outings for the early morning or late afternoon.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to dry, irritated eyes, making them more susceptible to damage from UV radiation. Stay hydrated by having a water bottle handy, especially when spending extended periods of time outdoors.

Protect Kids’ Eyes: Childrens eyes are more susceptible to UV damage as their ocular lenses are still developing. By ensuring children wear sunglasses and hats outdoors, you’ll be instilling SunSmart habits for a lifetime.

By adopting these SunSmart practices, you can safeguard your vision for years to come.

Is it time to come and see us?

If you have concerns about your eyes or your vision, schedule an eye test today with our optometrists in Johnsonville or Lower Hutt using our convenient online booking tool.

Rest assured, at Black Gates Optometrists all our prescription glasses have built in UV protection.

Based on 21 reviews
Best eye fanglers I've ever been to, don't go anywhere else, particularly the cheapies!
Ian Hendra
Ian Hendra
Had a wonderful experience at Black Gates Optometrists. They made the process feel easy and fun. My Optometrist walked me through each of the tests and explained her findings as I went and then handed me over to a frames technician who helped me pick a perfect (cost effective) pair of frames and lenses. Would highly recommend.
Megan Diment
Megan Diment
Brilliant support for dry eyes! I've suffered from dry eyes for many years now and its got to the point that I need to use drops nightly just to sleep through! I'm adding more and more to my eyes without really knowing if its the right product. When I found out that Blackgates offer specialist care in this area, I booked in for a consult. Amy tested my eyes and then handed me onto Greg who showed me photos and a graph of what was and wasn't working so well in my eyes. We replaced the Lutein- vision advanced vitamins with a supplement that support the production of tear film ( which is my actual issue) and Greg recommended two further eye care products, specific to my issue. I am trying these over the next two weeks, then I'll then go back and test again to see if there is an improvement. I'd highly recommend consulting with Blackgates before you spend any more money on dry eye support to ensure your doing the right thing for your eyes.
Jacqui Neilson
Jacqui Neilson
Receptionists are welcoming and Greg is a knowledgeable, thorough and caring optometrist who is evidently passionate about eyes. Thank you.
Toby Kepes
Toby Kepes
I was really impressed with the service and help Sita Thakersi gave me on my recent eye test visit. She really knew her stuff and provided some complimentary contact lenses to try, which have really helped improve my vision. I'm happy to recommend Sita to anyone.
Steve Roughan
Steve Roughan
Great for kids. Assessment goes way beyond what Specsavers does.
Amanda Waijers
Amanda Waijers
Ramanpreet Kaur
Ramanpreet Kaur