Shattky Optometrists

Visique Shattky Optometrists has been serving the people of Hawke's Bay with trusted expert eyecare and eyewear since 1906. We continue a proud history of family ownership with successive father & son teams Ernest & Derek Shattky, Neil & Phil Donaldson plus Mark & Tim Eagle. Using the very latest technologies and systems we specialise in Glaucoma tests, Retinal photography, Diabetic management, Therapeutic drugs, dietary supplements and Behavioural Optometry. We are ACC primary eyecare providers and CAA certificated examiners. Our speciality Orthokeratology and Keratoconus contact lens services are very successful. Using Zeiss, Nikon & Essilor quality lenses, High Fashion frames and sunglasses we excel in providing award winning choice. We provide Irlen and Cellfield specialist services for 3D, binocular problems, Amblyopia and reading problems.

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Home > How We Help > The Best Brands & Quality > UV Risks - The Facts

UV Risks - The Facts

What is UV?

UV refers to Ultra-Violet Radiation, this is the invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond the Purple/Violet end of the rainbow. It is a band of powerful and dangerous radiation, called an ionising radiation because it destroys the structure of living tissue! It also causes mutation in cellls, leading to cancer.

Because it is not visible, we do not realise it is there. We get burned invisibly by an invisible ray. But after the damage is done you sure can see the redness and feel the burn!

Because the molecules in the lens that stop the invisible radiation are themselves invisible, you cannot tell by looking at a lens whether it will or won't stop the UV

UV damage is cumulative and often irreversible.1

UV causes heavy damage to eyes and skin:

- UV exposure accelerates skin aging and wrinkles.2

- 90% of visible premature aging, on areas such as delicate skin around the eyes, is caused by UV damage.3

- Each year, 15 million people become blind from cataracts (a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light). 20% of these may be caused or aggravated by UV rays.2

Wearing UV protective eyeglasses (even clear ones) can delay the onset of cataracts up to 10 years.4

- UV are directly linked to skin cancer, amongst which 90 % appear above the neck, and 5 to 10 % to the periphery of the eye.5

- 1 out of 5 people will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime: 6

- 90% of non-melanoma cancer are associated with exposure to UV and the vast majority of mutations found in melanoma are caused by UV radiation from the sun. 7

- UV rays are associated with the following eye diseases: photokeratitis (eye sunburn), photoconjonctivitis, pterygium, pinguecula, climatic droplet keratopathy, squamous cell carcinoma, ocular melanoma and cataracts. 8

Aside from the skin, the eye is the organ most likely to be damaged by UV radiation. 9

Exposure to UV can affect all ocular structures10.
They penetrate the eye to different depths. 11

Children are particularly vulnerable to UV rays:

Cumulative UV exposure increases gradually with age, making UV protection important for both children and adults alike. But children are particularly exposed to UV damages, as they spend more time outdoors (their annual exposure is 3 times higher than that of adults). Moreover, their pupil being larger and their crystalline clearer, they do not adequately filter UV rays, absorbing more harmful UV radiation. 12

We are exposed to UV all year long:

365 days a year, our eyes are exposed to UV, even on cloudy days. 40% of UV exposure occurs when we are not in full sunlight and are less likely to wear protection. 13

UV rays are invisible and insidious. 14

When facing the sun, the natural reaction is to turn to avoid dazzling light. But light often comes from behind. Though the rear surface of anti-reflective lenses absorbs reflected visible light, UV rays still continue to reflect onto the eyes. 15

There are no alerts and therefore no natural defences like pupil contraction or squinting.

UV rays come from everywhere.

When outdoors, many surfaces around us reflect UV rays. Though people usually know that snow and water reflect light, they are much less aware that clouds, the ground surface as well as road surfaces, glass panels on buildings can also reflect UV that come obliquely onto the eye without being perceived. 16

When people are at home or in the office, they are also exposed to UV rays that can come through the windows. 18

There are different types of UV rays: Both UVA and UVB are a threat to the eye.

– UVB rays (< 315 nanometers) are responsible for cornea flash burns.
– UVA rays (< 380 nanometers) are the primary ones absorbed by your eyes.
                 They contribute to aging eye and skin around the eye.
– UVC rays are not a concern, as they are blocked by the atmosphere. 17

The Sun is not the only source of UV:

In addition to natural light, artificial sources also produce UV such as compact fluorescent lighting now widely used in offices or houses, as well as other technical equipment. 17

Clear lenses of the right type can protect against UV

We have been supplying clear lenses with excellent UV protection for more than 3 decades.
Most of our premium lens materials block 100% of the UV coming through the front of the lens.
Other materials block 95% of these UV.

Of all the clear lenses in the world, only one clear lens can block the UV rays that are reflected by the backside of a lens, which represent up to 50% of UV rays entering the eyes.
It is called Crizal Forte UV, make sure that you ask for this extra level of protection.

Many people don't understand that clear lenses can stop UV

According to a survey conducted in January 2012 in 5 major European countries (France, UK, Spain, Italy and Germany) by IPSOS;

More than two thirds of European consumers think that eyeglasses equipped with clear lenses do not provide any protection against UV rays.

Many people don't understand the danger of UV to their eye health

"The idea that sunlight can be damaging to the eyes is not new. [But ] while dermatologists have done a superb job alerting the public to the hazards of exposing skin to UV, the general population remain somewhat uninformed about the ocular hazards of UV."

Dr. Karl Citek, "The Eye and Solar Ultraviolet Radiation: New understandings of the hazards, costs and prevention of morbidity" (Roundtable, June 18 2011).

UV is a serious problem for Kiwi's

We get exposed to a lot of it, especially during the summer months as this picture shows;


So how can you make good choices about UV protection?   Click here


1. The Vision council. UV Report. Hidden Damage of UV. 2011

2. World Health Organisation . Programmes and projects. Ultraviolet radiation and INTERSUN programme. Health effects of UV radiation

3. "Health Effects of Overexposure to the Sun". EPA 430-F-10-026 - June 2010

5.  D.H. Sliney / Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 64 (2001) 166 –175

6. Myers M, Gurwood AS. Periocular malignancies and primary eye care. Optometry.2011;72(11):705-12.

7. Robinson, JK. Sun exposure, sun protection, and vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294:1541-43.

8. Pleasance ED, Cheetham RK, Stephens PJ, et al. A comprehensive catalogue of somatic mutations from a human cancer genome. Nature; 2009; 463:191-196

9. World Health Organisation . Programmes and projects. Ultraviolet radiation and INTERSUN programme. Solar ultraviolet radiation: Global burden of disease from solar ultraviolet radiation. Environmental Burden of Disease Series, No. 13

10. The Vision council. UV Report - Hidden Dangers of UV, 2011

11. US Environment Protection Agency – Prevent Eye Damage / Sunwise programme.

12. World Health Organisation . Programmes and projects. Ultraviolet radiation and INTERSUN programme. The known effects of UV.

13. Opticianry Study Center . Truhan AP. Sun Protection in childhood. Clin Pediatr. 1991;30:676-681. Weale RA. Age and the transmittance of the human crystalline lens. J Physiol 1988; 395: 577-87.

14. The Eye and Solar Ultraviolet Radiation / New undertstandings of the hazards, costs and prevention of morbidity. Report of a Roundtable - June 18, 2011, Salt Lake City, UT , USA - Karl Citek, MS, OD , PhD

15. The American Academy of Optometry

16. Effectiveness of Eyeglasses for Protection Against Ultraviolet Radiation . Yasuo Sakamoto, Masami Kojima, and Kazuyuki Sasaki Department of Ophthalmology, Kanazawa Medical University. 1999. Journal of the Japanese Ophthalmological society.

17. World Health Organisation. Programmes and projects. Ultraviolet radiation and the INTERSUN programme.

18. The American Cancer Society. Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.