NZ Woman's Weekly

How to choose sunglasses that offer proper protection

Check there’s a CE mark on the arms of your sunglasses. This is the manufacturer’s assurance that these glasses have been made and tested properly, says James Sutton, an optometrist at Butterflies Healthcare in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

A CE mark means the sunglasses have some sort of UV filter on them. UV rays can pass through the cornea and damage the lens, causing cataracts, when the lens becomes misty and cloudy. UV light is also thought to lead to macular degeneration, which causes the gradual disintegration of central vision, as well as benign growths called pterygium on the lining of the white of the eye.

Two-thirds of Britons are more influenced by how sunglasses look than whether they protect the eyes, according to a survey by the College of Optometrists. It’s possible to buy the latest trendy shapes very cheaply. But, James says, “Cost does matter. The lenses of cheap sunglasses will be just thin plastic and liable to distort the vision.

“I’d normally recommend glasses from $50 to $100 as the lenses of these will normally be of a better quality and won’t distort the vision. “When it comes to style, you should choose the biggest pair possible. Smaller glasses allow light to flood in at the top and sides. The best designs for protection are the wraparound ones as they stop the light getting in from all directions at once.”

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