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Sunglasses aren’t just for grown ups

Summer’s here and if you are a parent, you will no doubt be familiar with the daily challenge of making sure your child has sun cream on when they spend time outdoors.

But although protecting our children’s skin from the sunshine seems almost second nature, it is much less common for us to consider the effect UV rays have on their eyes.

Patrick & Menzies Partner and Dispensing Optician Dan Edwards, explained: “As a rule of thumb, if the weather is bright enough for you to put sun cream on your child, then they should be wearing sunglasses too, protecting their skin and their eyes from UV rays.

“Children should wear sunglasses as much as they can when they are in bright sunshine. People don’t always understand the importance of them and think of them more as a fashion accessory, but they can be of real benefit to your eye health in the long term.”

The build-up of UV exposure over a lifetime can lead to an increased chance of early development of cataracts and other problems at the back of the eye such as macular degeneration.

Wearing sunglasses not just in the summer but all year round will benefit your eyes and the skin around them, and it is even more important if you have light coloured irises which are more susceptible to UV exposure.

If your child doesn’t wear glasses and you are able to buy sunglasses off the shelf, make sure they conform with the relevant standards. The CE mark shows that they meet a minimum UV absorption requirement making them safe to use.

Dan continued: “For children who wear glasses, it is worth investing in prescription sunglasses. We stock a range of frames and can make a complete package for around £60.

“Unless there is a significant change in their prescription, you won’t usually need to replace the sunglasses until they grow out of them. If your child has had a recent eye test, we can use their existing prescription to create the sunglasses. Just pop into your branch to pick out the frames they like.”

Prescription goggles are also available and are a good option for children who wear glasses and are likely to spend a long time in the pool. Most incorporate a tint and a UV blocker.

The tendency to spend more time outdoors over the summer months may, in itself, bring benefits to our eye health.

Dan explained: “Research is ongoing, but the latest thinking is that when you are outside in the fresh air you are more likely to be able to focus far enough away that the eye muscles can relax than when you are indoors. That’s generally better for eye development, and it’s thought that spending more time outside may lessen the chance of children developing short sightedness in later life.”

To find out more contact us or book an appointment.

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Brand Spotlight | Ocean Blue

Thinking of treating yourself to a new pair of sunglasses? Look no further than the Ocean Blue range from International Eyewear  

The brand promises to provide: “An eclectic mix of exquisite contemporary and classic styles for him and for her offering extraordinary quality at an affordable price and with no style compromise.” 

And it really does deliver.  

The superior optical quality lenses come with full UV protection as standard and all of the styles are prescription-ready, perfect for people who rely on their glasses on a daily basis. 

Not only do Ocean Blue sunglasses look great, they’re comfy too and are designed to the same high standard as International Eyewear’s other optical ranges. 

Read on to discover some of our favourites in the current range. And if you need help picking out the right pair of sunglasses for you, check out our recent blog.  

Ocean Blue 9341-c1

Ocean blue sunglasses in tan with animal print - available from Patrick and MenziesMake a style statement with these super chic sunglasses. The neutral frame is coupled with sides that offer a modern-twist on classic tortoiseshell. And the larger lens offers that little extra protection from the sun. 

Find out more >


Ocean Blue 9349-c1

ocean blue sunglassesThese sunglasses make a hint towards cat-eye shaping and feature a subtle mottled fleck that we love. But it’s the twist design on the sides that really make these frames stand out from the crowd.

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Ocean Blue 9249-c1 

ocean blue sunglassesIf you favour a smaller lens then these are the frames for you. We particularly love the golden link design on the sides – a detail which adds personality to these otherwise classic frames.   

Find out more >


Ocean Blue 9260-c1

Ocean Blue sunglassesSimple metal frames like these will complement most looks and will never go out of style. These frames are paired with cool grey lenses. 

Find out more >


Lenses come in many different colours from grey, shown here, to blue, green and brown. When you are shopping for sunglasses it’s important to try them on before you buy to make sure you pick a tone that’s comfy for you.   

Ocean Blue 9322-c1 

ocean blue sunglassesThese metal frames with a rounded lens scream summer. The classic style makes for a look that will last. 

Find out more >


Did you know you can browse the current selection of Ocean Blue sunglasses available at Patrick & Menzies from the comfort of your home?

If you are worried about your vision or are in need of a regular check-up get in touch today to book an appointment at one of our four North Essex branches – Braintree, Brightlingsea, Manningtree and Mersea.   




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