Patricia Cleveland-Peck rests her eyes…

As travel writers we receive alerts about numerous new products, often very expensive luggage which we’d never even consider. As I have a few eye problems resulting in light-sensitive eyes, when I heard of this innovative piece of equipment though, I felt it was worth further investigation.

Occles are blackout eyeshades not sunglasses. They are designed to give your eyes complete protection from sunlight and glare. With them in place all you see is – complete darkness. It is suggested that they can be worn for sunbathing, for meditation, to sleep on planes and (a special hate of mine) in rooms with inadequate curtains or blinds.

They are lightweight and once you get the hang of putting them on the right way up and adjusting them, quite comfortable. They are maybe not as cosy as the soft masks provided by airlines but they do a better job and you soon get used to the feel of them.

They have been constructed without a bridge so if sunbathing you don’t get a white line on your tan and so far I have not had any panda-eye effect either as the actual eye masks parts are quite small. They adjust easily to fit and when not in use can hang in waiting round your neck.

Although for me the shade they offered was welcome, I wondered whether for most people the sun actually did do any harm to closed eyes. I was surprised therefore, to find out how harmful UV rays could be. They can penetrate skin and I had no idea for example, how many people contracted skin cancer of the eyelids – something very difficult to rectify as the skin is so thin. Also how inside the eye, which is mostly gelatinous, the transparent lens and cornea which filter UV rays, can become damaged in time.

This information reinforced my view that Occles are a rather splendid invention. I remember as a child being told how ‘palming’ the eyes by putting your hands over them to block out light, was a good way to rest them. Occles now do this more effectively and with less effort – they positively encourage rest and meditation. I’ll be taking them with me on my travels in the future.

Available online from www.occles.co