Following National Sunglasses Day (27 June 2016), Specsavers is urging people to protect their eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays by getting their sunglasses checked in store. This summer, local specs wearers will flock to buy sunglasses to shield their eyes, but may be unaware of the consumer symbols they should look for, and as a result could be endangering their sight.

Unknown danger

‘Many may be unaware that sunglasses without the correct CE marks could endanger sight more than not wearing sunglasses at all,’ says store director Stephen Bell. ‘This is because dark sunglasses lenses cause our pupils to widen and let more light in, therefore letting in more UV rays, and this could increase the risk of certain eye conditions over the long term.’

Children’s eyes are especially at risk, as they have larger pupils and clearer lenses in the eye than adults which allows more UV to penetrate. Kids should wear sunglasses as soon as they will keep them on, usually from around two years old.

Consumers are being urged to look out for the CE kite mark, and a UV400 mark on sunglasses in particular, as cheaper glasses that do not bear these marks might not provide adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

The long term effects

Short term exposure to UV rays can cause photo keratitis and painful inflammation on the front of the eye, but excessive long term UV exposure has been linked to eye conditions such as age related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Specsavers launched its first collection of non-prescription sunglasses last year. The range features styles from a number of designer brands including Karl Lagerfeld and Love Moschino, with frames starting from £99.

Shoppers purchasing contact lenses at Specsavers can make savings of up to 43% off the price of non-prescription sunglasses, and the package means customers can choose a pair of glasses from Specsavers’ £45 range or designer frames from just £35, and receive full aftercare, future sight tests as recommended by our opticians, plus delivery of lenses and cleaning solutions at no extra cost.

At Specsavers, all under-16s get a free NHS eye test. All glasses in Specsavers’ kids’ £64 and teens’ £85 ranges are free with under-16s’ NHS funding.

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