Personal interview with Leila Nafa, owner of Crew Eyewear
Many people are still unaware of the importance of having the right sunglasses to protect your eyes. Two out of three yachties, suffer from eye diseases such as macular degeneration from not wearing the right protection of eyewear. Cheap sunglasses bought for a couple of euros don’t provide the right protection for your eyes or in most cases don’t have an UV filter at all. By not wearing the right sunglasses to protect your eyes, you run the risk of getting eye diseases that are irreversible. When you put on a pair of sunglasses with no protection and a dark tint, what happens is that your retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of your eye) lets your pupil enlarge and let more light in. Due to the dark tint, you are actually fooling your eyes and therefore causing more damage to them then when you would not wear any sunglasses in the first place. Just by wearing such sunglasses for one day, you are already damaging your eyes.
Experienced yachties know the importance of having the right sunglasses and would never go on a yacht without them. However a lot of new yachties still start their career with poor quality sunglasses and pay the price later on. Damages result in a floating dock syndrome which is the beginning of cataract. An early symptom is when you close your eyes and see flying light particles. If you catch it early enough, you are able to reverse it. However if you continue to wear bad quality sunglasses for about six months, you could get eye damage for good.
Crew Eyewear really tries to encourage captains to provide a budget to contribute towards crew eye protection. Crew are already provided with clothing and footwear, however not always with the right eyewear to complete their uniform. This is a very important aspect of uniform, especially when crew are exposed to harsh conditions when on the water. It is not only the reflection of the water, but also the reflection of the white from the boat. Therefore, it is highly important to have the right eyewear with 100% UV protection, polarised high category 4 lens.
While visiting the Mediterranean, make sure you visit Leila for professional advice on your eyes and wearing the right sunglasses. Give your eyes the best care that they need, for the long run and before the season starts!