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As summer arrives, it’s time to treat yourself to a proper pair of designer sunglasses

We don’t know about you, but the recent Bank Holiday weather has got all of us at Luxury Lifestyle Magazine daydreaming about a long, hot summer. Barbeques, beach trips and hot European getaways are at the top of everyone’s to do list.

Also on that list, you feel, would be a bottle of appropriate factor sun screen. What people often forget, though, is the damage that long periods of exposure to the sun can do to one’s eyes and surrounding areas. According to LLM’s favourite optician and owner-operator of CG Optical, Claire Gough, this can eventually cause damage.

“Our eyes are one of our most valued senses,” explained Claire, who has twenty years of industry-leading eye care under her belt. “Yet each time we go outdoors we potentially expose our eyes to danger.”

When the sun comes out, you need a pair of sunglasses that not only looks great, but protects your eyes as well

The temptation with sunglass season is to acquire a pair at the airport departure lounge, or the local supermarket. The danger with that approach, though, is that off-the-shelf sunglasses can often lack the necessary UV protection, and certainly aren’t configured for your own unique eyes.

“Over time, the sun’s rays can cause a range of health issues, from eye and eyelid cancer to cataracts and macular degeneration,” explains Claire, whose independent opticians in Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the best reviewed in the United Kingdom. “Sunglasses that do not provide adequate UV protection can actually cause more damage because they shade the eye, allowing for more UV rays to hit the pupil, so professional advice is critical.”

According to Claire, whose practice on picturesque Ely Street in Stratford-upon-Avon which is situated in a Grade II listed building, this is even more important in the case of young children, whose still-developing eyes are extra sensitive to potential sun damage.

CG Optical stock a number of designer brands such as Maui Jim

“Children under the age of 10 are at a high risk of skin and eye damage from UV rays. The skin on their eyelids and around their eyes is more delicate and vulnerable than adult skin, so protecting their eyes is a must.”

With this is mind, it is far from a surprise to see the family-run CG Optical leading the way in offering bespoke and personal service to deliver prescription sunglasses for all the family. Claire and her team are able to provide a range of designer frames from some of the world’s most-renowned names, including Chanel, Oakley, Etnia Barcelona, Tom Ford, Hublot and Chopard.

Unlike purchasing online or in a generic store, though, the real value-added experience by visiting an optician like CG Optical is that prescription lenses, which match your own personal desires, can be fitted to these frames in order to provide a bespoke pair of glasses tailored exclusively for your needs.

A quality pair of sunglasses will wipe out harsh glare and enhance colour washed out by the sun

Above all of the designer brands listed above, though, it’s Hawaii-based designer-manufacturer Maui Jim that is turning heads this season. The company was formed in 1980 as a small company which produced and sold sunglasses from a small office on the Hawaiian isle. The business is expanding rapidly, but still produces and tests all its products in the area. The latest of these innovations, the PolarizedPlus lens, is a big hit with customers at CG Optical.

“One of our favourites is the Maui Jim Patented PolarizedPlus2 lens technology,” said Claire. “Which wipes out harsh glare and enhances colour washed out by the sun.”

“Eliminating 100% of harmful UV rays, polarized sunglass lenses reduce eye fatigue and keep your vision clear and depth perception sharp even in the most demanding light conditions.”

A decent pair of sunglasses is especially important for young children, whose still-developing eyes are extra sensitive to potential sun damage

For the best experience available on the market today, LLM recommends a consultation with a company like CG Optical, which offers the range of designer products to make you stand out on your beach of choice, while providing the protection to ensure that you won’t do yourself any damage by being there. A bespoke consultation also allows for you to select optional customisation for your new pair of shades, including full tint, graduate tinted lenses, or even matching mirrors.

Whatever your preference, both in style and purpose, as far as we’re concerned, CG Optical remains the stand-out independent optician in the country and is well worth a visit to ensure that your needs are met.

After all, sunglasses are the equivalent of sunscreen for your eyes.