Sunglasses have become the must-have fashion accessory, managing the rare achievement of being stylish and practical in equal measure.
Sunglasses are often bought primarily for aesthetic purposes, yet their health benefits shouldn't be ignored. A good pair will filter out ultraviolet light all year round, allowing the eyes to work more efficiently and protecting them from damage. It might be assumed that every pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from invisible dangers. However, this is not the case.
You should always invest in a pair of sunglasses with UV protection rather than the cheap "cosmetic" varieties on sale. These can actually be worse than nothing, since their dark lenses trick the pupils into dilating more, without blocking out any harmful rays. Lenses should carry CE or BS EN marks, a UV 400 label or the promise of 100 per cent UV protection.
Furthermore, it's no longer necessary to treat spectacles and sunglasses as completely distinct items which are unable to perform each other's duties, as modern lenses can be photochromic, adjusting their tints according to light levels. Certain contact lenses also have ultraviolet protection embedded into them - we can provide expert advice on the levels of safety provided by specific products.
UV levels rise at high altitudes, in snowy conditions or closer to the equator, so make sure you pack some form of eye protection when going on holiday - even in winter. Don't assume that clouds provide shelter either, as most harmful rays simply travel through them.
With a broad spectrum of prescription strengths available nowadays, sunglasses are so much more versatile. Polarised lenses can reduce glare from reflective surfaces - ideal for reducing glare from a low winter sun for instance, and scratchproof lenses are ideal for keeping your sunglasses in optimal condition, delivering maximum UV protection.
Finally, here are other useful tips to give your eyes an easier time during bright sunny weather. Wide brimmed hats can reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your face, making them invaluable for sunny days - as evidenced by their regular use among sportsmen and women. A delicate application of suncream to your eyelids and brows can save a lot of subsequent discomfort in really hot climates, and unless you are specifically working on your tan, try to stay in the shade or face away from the sun between late morning and mid-afternoon.
We stock an extensive range of both men and women's sunglasses, ranging from high-fashion to sports eyewear. The majority of our sunglasses can be made into your prescription to enable you to see in perfect comfort while protecting your eyes.
For more information, or to view and try on our range, call into the practice in Kings Square.