Specsavers has launched a new campaign encouraging Aussies to be sun smart, after new research indicates consumers aren’t aware of the impacts the sun can have on their eyesight.
The research, commissioned by Specsavers, has found that 6 out of 10 Aussies aren’t aware that the sun can permanently damage eyes by causing things like cataracts, cancer or macular degeneration. While 92% of people are concerned about long term damage to their body, the eyes tend to be forgotten about, with just 35% of Australians concerned about the long-term damage to their eyes from the effects of the sun.
The research also found that not only is there a lack of awareness of the sun exposure implications on eyes, but that two in five Aussies admit that they don’t wear sunglasses most of the time when they’re outside. In addition, most Aussies don’t necessarily have lenses that provide the right level of protection with less than half (47%) owning sunglasses with any kind of UV protection, and 39% unsure of what kind of protection their sunglasses have.
Specsavers optometrist, Greeshma Patel, says it’s important that Aussies are educated on both the potential long-term damage and what they can do to prevent it.
“The reality is that living in Australia means that we can be exposed to dangerous levels of UV radiation when we’re outside, even when it’s not bright and sunny. While our eyelids are designed to protect our eyes, the skin around our eyes is very thin and contains fragile tissues that can easily be damaged by UV light. UV damage to the eye and eyelid increases risk of serious conditions such as eyelid skin cancers, intraocular melanoma, conjunctival cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration and more.”
The research also looked into attitudes by age group, showing that Gen Z have the worst sun smart habits:
- Gen Z (54%) are less likely to wear sunglasses to protect themselves from the sun compared to the other generations (70% Millennials, 76% Gen X, 79% Baby Boomers and 85% Silent).
- Gen Z (18%) are more likely to never wear sunglasses when outside compared to the other generations (6% Millennials, 8% Gen X, 6% Baby Boomers and 4% Silent).
- Gen Z (17%) are more likely to not own any sunglasses compared to the other generations (8% Millennials, 11% Gen X, 7% Baby Boomers and 4% Silent).
- People living in NSW (54%) are the least likely to wear sunglasses all or most of the time when outside compared to those living in other states (56% VIC, 58% TAS, NT & ACT, 63% SA & QLD and 69% WA).
- People living in VIC are less likely than those living in other states to think that it’s important to wear sunglasses on a cloudy/overcast day (26% v 36%), in the morning (39% v 45%), in the middle of the day (50% v 59%) or in the afternoon (48% v 52%).
- Aussies who live in rural/ regional areas are more likely than those living in urban/ metropolitan areas to say it’s important to wear sunglasses in the morning (48% v 40%), in winter (42% vs 32%) and on a cloudy/overcast day (39% vs 31%).
The new campaign aims to educate Australians on the importance of looking after their eyes during summer and making an appointment with their optometrist if they experience any vision issues.