Why you should never buy cheap sunnies overseas

You could be risking your ocular health.

Anyone who has travelled overseas at some point in their lives has probably bought a cheap pair of sunnies from a local market stall or street vendor. However, this seemingly harmless purchase could actually be putting your ocular health at risk.

Many sunglasses sold overseas, in places such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and other similar destinations, are cheap imitations of designer products, and offer no UV protection. In fact, a study by Direct Line discovered that 35 percent of rip-off sunglasses sold offer absolutely zero eye protection. The same study found that 18% of people buying sunglasses don’t check for UV protection.

hand touching sunglasses
(Credit: Getty)

The point of sunglasses is to protect eyes from UV rays, as UV damage can cause cataracts and cancers on the surface of the eye, Cancer Council reports. Furthermore, wearing incorrect eyewear and exposing your eyes to UVA and UVB rays can even result in macular degeneration and pterygia, according to optometrist OPSM.

What to look for in a pair of sunglasses

  • Look for glasses with a high Eye Protection Factor (EPF)
  • Wear Sunglasses when outside, even if shady or overcast
  • Sunglasses with an Australian/New Zealand Sunglass Standard rating of 3 and 4 absorb almost all UV radiation
  • Polarised lenses are great for reducing glare
  • Wrap-around sunglasses are best
  • If you require prescription lenses for driving, always purchase a set of prescription sunglasses to wear for daytime driving.

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Watch the video below for more sun protection tips. 

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