IT is worth looking a little closer at your sunglasses because there is a chance they are doing more harm than good.
Almost half of the 236 businesses inspected by NSW Fair Trading as part of a national survey were selling sunglasses that did not meet Australian standards.
Noncompliant sunglasses are putting people’s eye health and safety at risk.
Lenses that meet Australian standards are ranked under five categories.
Category four lenses should not be worn when driving.
Lenses that do not meet any category should not be worn when driving.
Owner of the Optical Superstore in Nowra Vahid Saberti said he only sold sunglasses that met the Australian standard.
“I recommend people with prescription lenses also consider having a UV or polarised coating,” he said.
Store manager Fiona Cresswell said it was important for people to realise sunglasses reduced light which meant pupils stayed enlarged outside.
“If you are wearing sunglasses with UV protection that meets Australian standards then at least you are reducing the amount of UV light entering your pupils and damaging your eyes,” she said.
NSW division of the Optometrists Association of Australia CEO Andrew McKinnon said buying and wearing good quality sunglasses was one of the best health decisions consumers could make.
“Sunglasses are the easiest and most accessible way to protect our irreplaceable sight,” he said.
“As well as looking for the Australian standard on sunglasses, in high glare situations such as being on the water or at the snow, polarised lenses should be used.”
Mr McKinnon encouraged parents not to overlook their children.
“Go to any beach and look around you,” he said.
“Chances are the adults will all be wearing sunglasses, while the children will be running around with no eye protection at all.”
He said a child’s eyes were more susceptible to sun damage than an adult’s and sun damage accumulated over a lifetime.