To have a bright future, you gotta wear shades

COOL DUDES: This Friday is
COOL DUDES: This Friday is "Shades 4 a Day", an awareness campaign promoting sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun. Staff from Montecasino in Fourways joined in the fun at the launch. Pic. Thobeka Ndabula. 15/10/07. © Sowetan.

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Just as it is important to protect our skin from the sun, so too our eyes.

At a handover of R45000 wotrth of sunglasses to car guards and outdoor workers at Montecasino in Fourways yesterday, South African Optometric Association chief executive Harry Rosen stressed the importance of protecting our eyes from the harsh sun.

"While many of us are aware of skin cancer, only 9percent of the population know the damage the sun can do to our eyes," said Rosen

"Cataracts, which can seriously impair vision, are one of the results of prolonged exposure to the damaging UV rays. We encourage everyone, young and old, to wear suitable sunglasses, especially if you spend a great deal of time outdoors."

Rosen also warned about buying sunglasses from hawkers at robots.

"What I would suggest to people who buy their sunglasses this way is to have them checked by an optometrist or you might end up doing more harm than good. They might give you the feeling that they are protecting your eyes, but often this is a misconception. Rather be safe than sorry," he said.

l "Shades 4 a Day" stickers at R5 each to raise eye awareness in rural areas are available at optometrists.