Specsavers in St Anne’s are warning people about the dangers of wearing sunglasses that do not provide adequate UV protection and are urging sun-seekers to stay safe this summer.
The increase in the hours of sunshine during the summer means the risk of UV damage is higher. Excessive UV exposure, over a period of time, can cause or accelerate the development of cataracts or macula degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in later life.
It can also cause unhealthy and permanent changes to the front of the eye which are cosmetically undesirable. And while most people are aware of the effect of sun damage to their skin, many do not consider the potential impact on their eyes.
Edwin Shield, store director at Specsavers St Anne’s, said: ‘We talk to people about their eye health every day, and most simply do not consider sunlight as a factor that may cause serious, irreversible damage.
People slather themselves in sun cream, then lie back and look up to a bright, sunny sky, not realising that there is a very real danger of serious, lasting damage to their eyes and vision.
Similarly, many people buy sunglasses without considering whether they offer adequate protection against UV rays. Many sunglasses are designed with fashion, rather than safety, in mind.
Sunglasses should bear the CE kite mark and offer 99-100 per cent UV protection, which is indicated on labelling with the mark UV-400. Consumers should be aware that the price, darkness and tint of the sunglasses do not necessarily have a bearing on the strength of the protection offered and that labels should always be checked.’
The team at Specsavers St Anne’s can check the suitability of sunglasses this summer and offer advice and answer any questions regarding summer eye health.
By raising awareness of the importance of choosing the right sunglasses, staff hope that the number of people damaging their eyes will be reduced.