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Protecting your eyes against cheap sunglasses

With the summer sun finally heading back to UK shores over recent weeks, over the next few months there will inevitably be sun worshipers out there picking up a cheap pair of sunglasses. Whether you left your goof ones at home or just felt that the cheaper pair ‘would do’, spending money on a cheap pair of sunglasses that don’t block out dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays may cost you more than you know.

The reason for this is the two most harmful types of UV light – UVA and UVB – can actually enter your eye more with cheap sunglasses that if you were forced to squint. As everyone know, when it’s really bright out there your pupils constantly constrict to limit the amount of light getting into your eye. When you put on sunglasses this is lessened as the glasses create the same effect as a darkened room, ensuring that the pupil dilates more to let more light in.

Therefore, whilst cheaper sunglasses may offer some comfort to the light that makes you squint, what they don’t do is protect you from the harmful UV rays and actually let in more UV light than if you didn’t wear any sunglasses at all. These harmful UVA and UVB rays can increase the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and even development of ocular melanoma.

With this in mind, next time you head out to enjoy the beautiful British weather make sure that you’re wearing a pair of sunglasses that guarantee to block UVA and UVB rays. Whilst these don’t have to be expensive, choosing those with polarized lenses and polycarbonate lenses will help to further increase the risk of harmful UV rays entering your eyes.

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