A Rushton man whose eye was burnt by sunlight is urging people to look after their eyes after learning the hard way.
Kevin Abraham looked directly into the sun during an eclipse as part of a school science lesson, causing permanent damage to his right eye.
The 59-year-old is now hoping to raise awareness of the dangers of sunlight by backing a summer eye safety campaign launched by Davis Optometrists, which has three branches across Northamptonshire.
Mr Abraham, who works as a contracts manager at an electrical company, said: “It was because of looking at the sun without any eye protection.
“There was an eclipse of the sun and I looked directly at it.
“People need to respect the sun – you should never risk looking at it directly even with protection.
“I am fine, my left eye compensates but while the damage is minor it’s not going to go away.”
The partial eclipse which damaged Mr Abraham’s eye took place on May 20, 1966.
The next partial eclipse in the UK is on March 20, 2015.
Too much exposure to ultra violet (UV) raises the risks of eye diseases, including cataract, growths on the eye, and cancer.
Kim Durden, a partner optometrist at Davis, said: “We’re on a mission this summer to get everyone wearing properly fitted sunglasses that provide full protection from the sun.
“You may be surprised to know that wearing poor quality sunglasses is potentially more damaging to your eyes than wearing no sunglasses at all.
“In bright lights and sunshine, your pupils constrict to small dots to reduce the amount of light getting into the eye.
“When you wear sunglasses your pupils become bigger (as they would if you were in a darkened room) allowing in more light but also more UV rays – unless they are filtered out by your sunglasses.”
Davis Optometrists, which has branches in Rothwell, Kettering and Thrapston, is swapping any old and unwanted sunglasses for a £10 voucher towards a new pair in its ‘Big Sunglasses Swap.’