Millions of Brits are wearing sunglasses that are putting them at risk of BLINDNESS, expert warns

23 April 2019, 15:29

Are your sunglasses damaging your health? (stock image)
Are your sunglasses damaging your health? (stock image). Picture: Getty

An expert has claimed that cheap sunglasses may be damaging your eyes and potentially putting your sight at risk

Anyone spending today nursing a Pimms-induced hangover and sporting a slightly sunburnt nose will be aware that the sun is officially back for 2019.

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This means it's now officially time to buy some new / dig out your old sunglasses.

Many of us can be tempted by the cheaper and fashionable options of shades available - but an expert has warned that we could be damaging our eye health by doing so.

Brits are being urged to check their sunglasses offer UV protection (stock image)
Brits are being urged to check their sunglasses offer UV protection (stock image). Picture: Getty

They claimed that few Brits look out for the 'CE' sign, that denotes full UV protection, and in neglecting to do so are putting their eyesight at risk.

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Stephen Hannan, clinical services director at Optical Express, said, according to the Mail Online: 'With a few days of warmer weather upon us, sun worshipping Brits will be ready to soak up some rays, either here or abroad. 

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"Sunglasses may be a great fashion accessory to team with your favourite outfit, but being sun-wise can help to avoid a variety of eye health problems.

Millions of Brits are putting their eye health at risk with their sunglasses, it has been warned (stock image)
Millions of Brits are putting their eye health at risk with their sunglasses, it has been warned (stock image). Picture: Getty

"The sun's UV rays become stronger throughout spring and summer and long-term exposure can cause a variety of eye problems, such as photokeratitis or sunburn for the eyes, which can cause red eye, tearing, sensitivity to light and feeling like you have grit in your eyes."

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How can you ensure your sunglasses are safe?

Looking out for either the UV 400 sign, which shows that the sunglasses protect against 97-100% of UV rays, or the 'CE' sign, also known as the British Standard mark, which indicates that the sunglasses offer a good level of protection.