Sunglasses may be cool and much loved by celebrities, but their real aim is to protect the eyes and to give comfortable vision in bright conditions.

Why wear sunglasses?

Sunglasses reduce the amount of light reaching the eye and protect our most valued asset from damaging ultra- violet radiation (UV) which is a growing environmental hazard.

Over time, these UV rays may damage the eyes and are thought to be a major factor in the development of cataracts and macular disease. The UK is no exception to harsh sunlight and experts recommend that people should protect their eyes on bright days.

Without the all-important UV protection, you could be increasing the risk of unsightly crows’ feet, snow blindness, cataracts and retinal damage.

Children, in particular, need protection from the sun as there is greater risk of them suffering retinal damage. A peaked cap is ideal for toddlers, but older children should be encouraged to wear sunglasses as soon as possible.

Before buying any sunglasses it’s important to check for the British Standard label which shows that they filter out the harmful UV rays.

Beware of poor-quality sunglasses and tints that are too dark as these may make your eyes more sensitive to light.

The problems of glare

Direct sun is the most powerful source of UV, but there is also a significant risk from reflections off roads, buildings, water and especially snow.

Most drivers will have experienced sudden glare from the windscreen or annoying low winter sunshine.

The glare from water affects water sports enthusiasts and skiers need to be aware of the dangers of glare off snow which can hide hazardous bumps and dips.

The best solution

To solve the problem of glare, there is a huge variety of sunglasses available and even if you already wear spectacles you needn’t miss out. The best suited for protecting your eyes are our prescription quality sunglasses which are produced to the same high standards as our spectacles.

Contact lens wearers can experience a sense of glare even on dull days, but a pair of quality sunglasses can make all the difference.

All of our sunglasses use special polarised lenses to reduce the reflected glare from roads, water and snow. This makes them ideal for driving, sailing, fishing and skiing. Wraparound styles help to keep our peripheral glare.

Our prescription sunglasses can also be made with photochromic lenses which darken in bright light and react very quickly. These are now typically made for plastic materials meaning they are lighter, more comfortable to wear and safer than the old glass versions.

Come to us for advice

With so many lenses and styles to choose from it’s easy to be confused so let us help you to make the right choice. We offer expert advice – buying your sunglasses from us means that you can be sure that they fit correctly and are perfect for you and your lifestyle.

Contact lenses with UV protection built-in are also available and we can advise on the best for you. Sports people find these particularly helpful.

Hammond Opticians Cups