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surgeon warns wear sunglasses PDF Print Email


A leading eye surgeon, Milind Pande, is urging adults and children to wear sunglasses to avoid eye damage such as cataracts and cornea damage as a result of exposure to UV rays.  He is highlighting the dangers while we experience the current prolonged heatwave throughout most of the UK.


Milind Pande is consultant surgeon at Vision Surgery & Research Centre in Hull and a distinguished UK cataract specialist and last year he was President of the UK cataract society. Mr Pande said: “UV radiation can also increase the chance of developing cataracts, damage to the cornea and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness. In the UK, over 600,000 people suffer from AMD and cases of the disease are expected to increase by a quarter in the next 10 years.”


You can buy sunglasses in all sorts of styles, colours and tints nowadays and many of us have more than one pair or change them in tune with the fashion of the day.  All glasses with plastic lenses offer some degree of protection against the harmful ultra-violet rays however, be aware that the colour and darkness of the lenses do not indicate the level of UV protection.  Good sunglasses should block all the UVA and UVB rays so when looking to purchase make sure they block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB.  Neutral grey or brown lenses are good as they have less effect on the way we see colours, some pink or blue tints or trendy 'funky' colours can distort colours and are not recommended for driving.


However much we may want to look fashionable and own various pairs of sunglasses to complement various occasions or outfits your eyes are far more valuable than short term appearance!


Mr Pande offers the following top tips to avoid damage to the eyes from UV light:

· stay out of the direct sun as much as possible, wear a brimmed hat or a cap and wear good quality sunglasses with the CE British Standards mark BSEN 1836:1997.

· sunglasses sold under BS 2724 have a shade number which relates to the amount of UV light allowed through. The higher the number the better.

· sunglasses should block out 75-90% of visible light and 99-100% of UV rays.

· wraparound styles are effective as they prevent light from getting behind your sunglasses and into your eyes.

- neutral grey or brown lenses are good as they have less effect on the way we see colours,

- some pink or blue tints can distort colours and are not recommended for driving.

- Photochromic lenses that automatically go darker in the sun are also very good.