As the British months fill with sunnier days, many people look forward to sporting their favourite summer accessories - and nothing more than a new pair of sunglasses.


However, whilst wearing sunglasses is crucial to protecting eyes against the harmful impact of ultraviolet rays, it’s also important to know that not all sunglasses offer the same protection.


That’s why the eye health experts from Specsavers stores across Berkshire have put together some advice to explain to residents the importance of sunglasses and what to look out for when buying a pair.


Unchecked exposure to UV rays can cause damage to eyes


Leaving your eyes unprotected from UV rays can be dangerous and lead to a number of eye health conditions.


Exposure to UV rays in the short term can lead to difficulties such as photokeratitis - a painful inflammation on the front of the eye, whilst in the long term, excessive UV exposure has been linked to more severe eye conditions, such as age related macular degeneration and cataracts.


In particular, children’s eyes are especially at risk of damage, as they have larger pupils and clearer lenses in the eye than adults, which allows more UV to penetrate.


Wear the right pair of sunglasses


When picking out a pair of sunglasses, many people prioritise style and affordability. However, cheaper sunglasses often don’t contain UV filters and can help cause eye damage. This is because the dark lenses cause our pupils to widen and let more light in, but without the UV filter, this increases exposure to UV.


With a proper pair of sunglasses you can feel safe that your eyes are protected. When buying your sunglasses, make sure they bare the CE kite mark and are marked UV400.


If you wear contact lenses, you can wear sunglasses over the top on sunny days to make sure the whole eye is fully protected. Even if it’s clouding over, UV rays can still be harmful so keep wearing your sunglasses in these conditions


As children’s eyes are more vulnerable to UV rays, they should wear sunglasses as soon as they will keep them on, normally from around the age of two.


For more information and advice from our professional optical teams, drop into your local Berkshire store. The teams can advise on UV protection that’s suited to your needs and there is a wide range of styles to choose from for both adults and children.


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