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Warning issued on dangers of fake sunglasses

Published on 21/03/16 09:50:am

A Suffolk optician has issued a stark warning over the dangers of fake sunglasses, many of which offer little or no protection to the eyes.

With the Easter and summer holidays fast approaching Will Norman, Senior Optometrist at Observatory the Opticians in Ipswich and its sister company Wardale Williams in Sudbury, has spoken of how people could be putting their eyes at risk to a wide range of serious eye complaints.

“The packaging and design of these fake sunglasses are becoming more and more sophisticated, which can be misleading. It is highly likely that many of these glasses offer little or no protection against UV leaving your eyes exposed to the risk of a range of eye complaints, including cancer.

“Only last week the BBC featured the story of a woman from Manchester who lost an eye after developing cancer. It is believed the cancer was caused as the sunglasses the woman was using provided no protection against UV rays. Whilst the prices of these sunglasses may be attractive, people need to realise many of them offer no protection to the sun’s harmful rays.

“The best advice is always to consult with your optician to ensure the sunglasses you have provide the protection you need. A very important point to know is that sunglasses that allow UV into the eye can actually be more harmful than not wearing them at all. This is because the dark lens will mean your pupil will be larger and allow more UV in to the eye,” said Mr Norman.

Over exposure to UV rays can damage the retina at the back of the eye, which can harm central vision. UV rays can also lead to macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss and can cause cataracts. In worst case scenarios over exposure to UV rays can cause potentially fatal conditions such as cancer.

As well as wearing eyewear that provides maximum protection people are advised to limit the amount of time they spend in the sun and to consider wearing a wide brimmed hat or cap to add extra protection.

Members of the media needing further information should contact Patrick Lowman of Patrick Lowman PR on 07792 428555 or email