Scientists warn sunglasses may harm eyes

Studies carried out at a British university show that the wrong sort of sunglasses can increase the damage the sun does to your eyes.

People are used to warnings about the danger the sun poses to skin, but now scientists at Aston University in Birmingham are warning about possible optical damage.

The researchers claim sunglasses don’t necessarily provide the protection needed and in some cases actually amplify the amount of light entering the eye.

“The problem is because of the optics of the eyes,” said Professor James Wolffsohn who works on visual sciences research at Aston University.

“Because the lenses particularly are at the front of the eye, the light that comes in from the side actually gets magnified as it crosses the eyes. So what hits the side is magnified about 20 times by the time it has crossed to the front of the eye.”

The scientists are advising people to make sure their sunglasses have UV protection to have the best chance of shielding eyes from the harmful rays, 90 percent of which manage to penetrate clouds even on an overcast day.


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