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There may not be much sun around, but there's still enough of a reason to protect your eyes and frame your face with a pair of stylish sunglasses.

We can’t stop the rain but we can get you thinking about booking a sunny getaway and lapping up the rays in a pair of stylish sunglasses to protect your eyes and frame your face.

We asked Principal Optometrist and owner of Market Harborough-based Clarke & Roskrow Styling Opticians Anthony Clarke why it’s so important to protect our peepers all year round.

1. Maintain healthy eyes and vision

Our eyes, just like our skin, need protection from the harmful effects of UV light, which is around us all the time, even in the drab and dreary UK!  UV exposure is linked to ageing changes inside the eye, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the leading cause of registrable blindness in the UK.  If you’re not sure when you should be wearing your sunglasses, just check-out the UV-index on any weather app on your smartphone or tablet device.  If the UV index is medium or higher, then it’s time to put those shades on!

2. Keeps you looking young

Exposure to the sun ages our skin and I’m all for ageing gracefully but who wants to look wrinkley before their time? The delicate skin of the eyelids and the soft tissue around the eyes is very thin and, therefore, more susceptible to UV damage. As much as 5%-10% of all skin cancers affect this delicate area, and we know that ocular tumours are on the increase, so wearing good quality sunglasses helps to protect against these ageing changes.

3. Improved comfort

Most regular sunglasses simply offer a tint to reduce the amount of sunlight entering the eye.  Eye comfort can be improved significantly though with polarised sunglasses.  The polarising filter helps to cut-out unwanted glare and reflected light, resulting in crisper, clearer and more comfortable vision, all year round.  This is particularly helpful in the autumn and winter months when you have low, bright sunlight reflecting off wet roads and other reflective surfaces such as car windscreens, windows etc.

4. Better dark adaptation

Even short periods of time spent in bright sunlight can significantly hamper our ability to quickly adapt to indoor light levels.

5. Looking good

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look, and feel good when you’re wearing your shades. Whether you’re on beach, by the pool, or just driving the car, sunglasses are a great way to look and feel your best.

If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of sunglasses that really stand out from the crowd, check out these bad boys I’ve just discovered at Clarke and Roskrow Styling Opticians:

Looking for something different? How about these chic, Hanapa sunglasses from Maui Jim? Maui who? This fab brand based all the way in Maui, Hawaii create beautiful sun specs like this pair which come in a gorgeous blush tortoise frame. Looks aside, the brand ensures their frames combat intense glare and all of their styles are polarized, offering 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Meanwhile, this quirky and stylish pair from Anne & Valentin means you’ll definitely stand out from the crowd, – they’re fresh, vibrant and edgy and I love the story behind the brand; Valentin, a French neo-hippie, obtains his Optician’s degree and with his sweetheart Anne, embark on a journey to open an optical store creating fun, original and colourful frames – each one as unique as the next.

Mission accomplished don’t you think?!

Clarke and Roskrow Styling Opticians, 18 Church St, Market Harborough LE16 7AA.

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