The ‘Eagle’ has landed: Olympian Eddie Edwards swoops into Manchester to warn of UV danger for eyes

Winter Olympic legend Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards swapped downhill slopes for Manchester’s city streets today to help raise awareness of the dangers of ultraviolet light to the eyes.

Eddie posed with giant eye mascots, ‘The Protectors’, as a method of encouraging the public to look after their eyes this coming summer as part of the campaign ‘Think About Your Eyes’.

Over exposure to UV rays can cause irreversible eye damage and has been linked to both cataracts and macular degeneration which are well known causes of blindness.

And Eddie, who will be recording a new series of The Jump in the near future, claims it was important to him as a famous spectacled star to highlight the danger.

“UV levels are a big hazard for skiers as they reflect off the snow and can cause great damage,” he said.

“Although it’s not just on the slopes as people should think about protecting their eyes in their everyday lives too – especially in summer.”

The 50-year-old also stated he wouldn’t swap his fame for success and said: “Not at all, I have loved my celebrity lifestyle and met some interesting people in some interesting places.

“I believe that getting to the Olympics was my gold medal.”

I SEE YOU: Olympic legend Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards

The ‘Think About Your Eyes’ campaign is backed by many independent opticians around the UK as well as the British Skin Foundation.

It is travelling around the country this July giving out information to the public in an attempt to protect them from this relatively unknown threat.

Optician Jo Padmore from Jo Padmore Eyewear in Didsbury supports the campaign.

“People may not think that exposure to UV is a big problem in the area but according to the met office today’s UV levels in Manchester stand at six, which is considered relatively high,” she said.

“The message seems to be sinking in about protecting our skin but we are still guilty of neglecting our eyes.

“Damage from UV rays builds up over time and is irreversible, contributing to serious eye diseases which can result in a dramatic loss of vision.”

Peak times for UV levels are the early morning and rays can damage eyes on even overcast days, as the UV levels are high, so wearing sunglasses is essential.

The campaign suggests people should consult their opticians about the E-SPF on normal spectacles as there are particular lenses which can protect people in the same way as sunglasses.

There is also a higher-risk for children but the campaign offers ‘parental packs’ which are available online.

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