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Top 8 Risk Factors for Developing Eye Disease

When you’re still relatively young – 30s, 40s, even 50s, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “my eyesight is fine, I don’t even wear glasses”.

And if you don’t have any troubling eye symptoms, you might think there’s no reason to have regular eye checks or invest in protective sunglasses.

But did you know there are risk factors for developing eye disease that you might not even realise are connected to eye health?

Risk factors for developing eye disease

Some Lesser Known Risk Factors for Developing Eye Disease

Even though we are eye surgeons, we don’t treat eyes like they are a distinct part of your body that’s separate to every other part. Like any holistic practitioner, we understand that your eye health is fundamentally connected to your overall health.

Here are 8 risk factors for developing eye disease that might blow your mind:


1. Having skin sun damage or skin cancer. We were first able to show the alarming presence of sun damage in children’s eyes by adapting technology that is actually used in dermatology to identify sun damage in skin. So if you’ve got some damage from the sun on your skin already, it’s essential you get your eyes checked, and that you get some protective sunglasses early to decrease the chances of sun damage to your eyes as well.

2. Not wearing protective sunglasses on cloudy days. You know you’re meant to wear your sunnies when the sun is bright. But did you know that UV light scatters in cloudy conditions, making it just as deadly as in full sunshine?

3. Not getting the right nutrition for eye health. That’s right, just as you eat well for gut health, mental health and bone health, there are certain foods that help your eyes maintain their natural defences and fight off disease. Regularly eating green leafy vegetables, quality fresh nuts and deep-sea oily fish will help reduce your risk factors for developing eye disease.

4. Wearing flat sunglasses. Whether your sunnies claim to offer UV protection or not, if they sit flat on your face instead of wrapping around, they are letting in UV rays from the sides.

5. Not having sunglasses with coated lenses. This is such an important factor when purchasing protective sunglasses. If your eyewear does not have coated lenses, unfiltered light is likely bouncing off the lens of your sunnies and back into your eyeball. The special coating in Optoshield™ Technology in Beamers sunglasses, for example, allows unfiltered light to pass back out into the world, not inwards into your eye!

6. Having a family history of eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts or late-onset vision impairment. Your genes can predispose you to developing eye disease so please nip this in the bud and think about prevention early on in life. And if you have children, the sooner you get them into the habit of wearing protective sunglasses every day, the better their chances of avoiding eye disease and cancers.

7. Being diabetic. Diabetes can weaken the eyes – often diabetics find it difficult to focus during periods of unstable blood glucose levels. Diabetes can also lead to damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye. Due to this extra vulnerability, we strongly recommend that diabetics take special care to have frequent eye checks.

8. Having cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol or blood pressure. Again, we stress that good eye health stems from good overall health and the same is true of cardiovascular illness. Get additional eye checks if you suffer from these conditions along with the regular checks you need to get. Improving your overall health with good nutrition and daily movement may help protect your eye health, but prevention (with protective sunglasses) is better than cure. 


    As eye surgeons, it’s our job to treat eye diseases and eye cancers once they are identified. But we feel so strongly that prevention is key in reducing risk factors for developing eye disease that we are spreading this message far and wide.

    We focus heavily on protective sunglasses for children because we know how much of a difference it can make to their eye health to start young. But Beamers sunglasses come in sizes for adults too, because it is NEVER too late to start focusing on preventative eye health.

    Start now! Get Beamers sunglasses for yourself and your kids in our shop.