Glaring oversights

3 May 2024
Spring 2024

What is the impact of global warming on eye health? Sophie Goodchild looks at the science and provides an update on the latest learning for optometrists about UV protection for patients.

Life on this planet would be very different without the ozone layer. Made of odourless gas, this invisible stratospheric shield absorbs the vast majority of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, reducing the risk to humans of health conditions such as cancer and eye damage. 

However, the ozone layer is under threat. For decades, scientists have known that man-made emissions could cause destruction to the ozone and let more UV rays through. Then a large hole in the ozone layer was discovered in the 1980s above Antarctica.

Figures show that the southern hemisphere hole had a maximum area of 26.1 million kmĀ² as of 2023 (European Space Agency, 2023). There are also concerns about significant ozone depletion over the Arctic close to populated areas of the northern hemisphere.

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Related further reading

The College and Eye Research Group Oxford are collaborating to bring you a webinar on Monday 24 June, on how optometrists can get involved in research.

We have partnered with Ulster University to develop a series of learning modules to support optometrists who want to undertake research, from developing their understanding of research to acquiring the necessary skills.

The College has provided key information to help you identify cases and guidance on managing circumstances that are relevant to optometry practices.