The thousands of Brits taking advantage of the sun by visiting festivals this summer are being warned to protect their eyesight from over exposure to UV rays by independent opticians.

An estimated 135,000 people attended Glastonbury alone this year and thousands more are gearing up to attend the biggest events of the summer calendar, including Global Gathering at the end of July, V fest in August and Bestival in September.

So as the festival count down commences, Sight Care, a support network for independent opticians, is encouraging attendees to ensure they pack the essentials to keep their eyes healthy during festival season.

Whilst festival fashion is a key part of the weekend, with many attendees opting to wear fancy dress and funky eye wear, Sight Care is reminding people not to forget their UV sunglasses to protect their eyes from the harmful UV summer rays.

Others may also neglect the proper care needed when wearing contact lenses at festivals. Swapping the essential contact lens solution for extra packing space may lead to eye infection if eyes are not refreshed. There is also the temptation to wear certain types of contact lenses for long periods when they're not designed for that use. Extended wear contact lenses are readily available from independent opticians.

Paul Surridge, Chief Executive of Sight Care, said: "Festivals are great summer events for everyone to enjoy, but without the right sort of eye protection in strong sunlight long-term eye damage can be sustained. My advice would be to take a couple of minutes to check that you have adequate eye protection for the duration of the festival and that includes a good pair of sunglasses which are readily available from independent opticians.

"In addition, although sleep is probably unlikely among many of the hard-core festival fans, try to give your eyes a rest for a few hours to prevent straining them and affecting your vision for the day."

According to statistics, an extreme number of tents get left behind every year, with 700 perfectly usable tents left at Leeds festival in 2011, and Sight Care is advising people not to make the same mistake with their glasses!

To ensure you get the best from your festival experience, make sure you book an eye test today to guarantee you can see your favourite act as clearly as possible and get the best experience you can.