Public survey suggests style comes before UV ratings when selecting sunglasses
A study of 2000 people, carried out on behalf of Specsavers, found 67% of respondents purchase sunglasses without checking how well they would protect their eyes
22 July 2022
A survey into the country’s views on sun protection and their eyes has found that one in four people are either unconcerned or unaware about UV exposure to their eyes.
A poll on behalf of Specsavers of 2000 people found that 67% of respondents purchase sunglasses without checking how well they protect their eyes from the sun.
For the majority of respondents (71%), a good-looking pair of sunglasses was at the forefront of their purchase decision, while considering whether the style fits their face also took priority over the UV protection rating.
In a survey of 2000 people, 40% overlook or don’t understand the UV protection ratings
However, 40% of respondents said they overlook UV protection ratings when buying sunglasses, or don’t know what it means.
Over a third (38%) shared that despite wearing prescription spectacles, they do not own prescription sunglasses.
Conducted via OnePoll, the survey found that the average adult is willing to spend up to £71.50 on a pair of sunglasses. Just over half of respondents (54%) shared that they usually opt for cheaper sunglasses, as they are afraid of losing or breaking a more expensive pair.
Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical director, emphasised: “It is essential that sunglasses meet the safety standards to protect against UV damage. Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory – they’re a legitimate form of sun protection.”
Sun protection: the AOP’s UV resourcesLast year, the AOP launched a new campaign, SPF for your eyes, to remind the public to choose CE-marked sunglasses and protect their eyes in all seasons.
Research conducted as part of the campaign revealed that, of 1207 AOP members surveyed, almost a quarter of optometrists said they see up to nine patients every month with an eye disease linked to UV exposure.
A poll of the UK public found that two fifths were unaware that too much UV exposure can contribute to sight threatening conditions. While 46% of respondents said they owned a pair of sunglasses, 24% admitted to only sometimes checking UV protection when making a purchase.
As part of the SPF for your eyes campaign, the AOP has produced a range of resources for use in practice, online and on social media. The UV advice resources can be found on the AOP website.