Get yourself all blinged out this summer with the coolest shades. Here’s a look at some of the best ones on offer right now.

That big firey ball in the sky, you know the one, we see it occasionally in the U.K, is known as ‘The Sun’ and is responsible for almost all life on earth. Without its photosynthesis driving energy we wouldn’t have any oxygen to breath and we’d be living on a cold, dead, icy rock hovering somewhere around -270??qC. Even a hooded 6mm and all the trimmings won’t keep that cold out, not that it would matter cos the oceans would all be solid ice.

Thankfully that is not the case. The sun maybe about 150,000,000km away and it’s light may take 8 minutes and 19 seconds to get here but it does a darn good job of keeping us warm, alive and drives the climate and weather without which there would be no surf.
Giver of life it maybe but anything that emits nuclear radiation needs handling with kid gloves, or in this case some shiny eye protecting goggles…

“Why bother with sunnies?” you say. Well listen up kids this is the skinny-

You can peek at the sun very briefly with the naked eye with no damage, anything passed a brief flirtation like that and it’s gonna be doing you no favours. A good stare at the sun can cause phosphene artifacts and temporary blindness- that’s what happens when you torch your retina with 4milliwatts of pure undiluted sunlight. UV exposure also gradually yellows the lens of the eye and is thought to contribute to the formation of cataracts, that’s just generally, not from looking at the sun either. If you do look at the sun, unavoidable on late evening summer surfs on the west coast, then 100 seconds is all it takes to for the UV to induce sunburn like lesions on your retina.

So you get the picture, the sun maybe our friend but it doesn’t do our eyes any good at all. Sunnies in the surf are hard to work so you need to protect your eyes whenever possible on land. Being near the ocean is a double whammy as the water reflects the suns rays back up at you. This may mean surfers have a lovely tanned under chin but it also means we are more at risk of eye damage than most people. Cataracts and poor vision in old age are one thing, the benign growth of the scary and hard to pronounce ‘Pterygium’ is another. In essence a conjunctive growth on the eye caused by over exposure to sun and wind it’s not something you want to consider; Google it to see what can happen. Symptoms include persistent redness, inflammation and itchy eyes. In advanced cases the pterygium can affect vision as it invades the cornea and can cause all manner of problems. So those surfers you think are permanently baked due to the red eyes are probably just in the early stages of pterygium…

Convinced sunnies are an essential now? Look after your peepers, not like you can get another set, buy decent sunglasses with good lenses and be confident you are buying safe shades by looking for the European Standard CE mark or British Standard BSEN 1836:1997.
In other words buy a reputable brand like those featured here, those ones from down the market may be cheap and fashionable this week but they won’t protect your precious eyeballs from interstellar radiation.