Everyone is at risk from Ultraviolet-related eye damage – so this summer make sure to invest in a safe pair of sunglasses and don’t fork for a ‘designer label’ that offers little protection.

And when it comes to protecting yourself, make sure that at the very least you chose a pair of sunglasses that carries the European Union’s safety standard called the CE Mark, says independent optometrist Rachel Murray. 

Rachel says sunglasses with the most impact-resistant lenses are a must. Polarised sunglasses offer an extra layer of protection – they eliminate glare, increase visual clarity, reduce eyestrain, and enhance contrast. 

Rachel has the following tips to help protect the eyes:

  • Choose sunglasses with the CE mark that block 100% of UV rays. Do not assume that because the lenses are dark, they offer more protection.
  • Choose close-fitting wraparound sunglasses as these protect eyes from all angles
  • Wear sunglasses throughout the year even if it is cloudy, but especially during the summer.
  • You can wear a wide-brim hat with your sunglasses for extra protection
  • Some medications can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight, so take extra precautions if necessary
  • Remember that the sun’s rays can be reflected off water, sand, or the pavement
  • If glare is a problem, try polarised lenses as they work exceptionally well to filter glare

Rachel says: “It’s vitally important to take care of your eyes. You wouldn’t go to the beach without sunscreen, so don’t go without sunglasses either. It is also important to look for the CE mark when purchasing sunglasses. Without the UV factor protection, the CE mark guarantees, there is no eye health benefit to wearing the lenses.” 

Most people are aware that fair skin can be more vulnerable to skin cancer. However, light-coloured eyes are also more vulnerable to UV damage from the sun and can be at greater risk of developing eye diseases such as cataracts in later life as a result.

In an age of disposable materials and cheap plastics, Rachel Murray Eyecare has a focus on sustainability and brands that use quality and lasting materials. All her lenses are supplied by ZEISS, the acclaimed German manufacturer of optical systems and optoelectronics.

Rachel says: 

 “Many people in the last few years have been focused on how they can be greener, kinder to the environment and less wasteful. So much of what we buy ends up in a landfill. The quality of the materials in our niche brands such as Theo, Rapp, Lindberg, and Anne et Valentin are made to last. The materials are high-quality acetates, titanium, and medical-grade stainless steel. This means beautiful hand-painted metal frames with colours that look as vibrant today as they will next year. It means hand riveted and double-hinged joints. It means, for the most part, being able to repair, rather than replace. We want our clients to enjoy wearing their glasses for years to come.”

Rachel Murray Eyecare has a large range of sunglasses suitable for both prescription and non-prescription wearers, contact Rachel Murray Eyecare on 071-9142860 or www.rachelmurrayeyecare.ie to make an appointment, or simply call in. For more information contact StoryLab 01 685 3029