Since they resurfaced, the rescued Chilean miners have been wearing specially designed Oakley sunglasses to protect their eyes as they re-acclimate to the sun. So how is it that these minders got their hands on $180 Oakleys?
Oakley announced a few weeks ago a Chilean journalist covering the rescue efforts at the mine contacted the company. Apparently this journalist had recommended Oakley to the Chilean private health insurer tasked with providing eyewear protection for the miners once they surfaced. Well, Oakley stepped up, donating 35 pairs of Oakley Radar® with Black Iridium® lenses in Path™ and Range® lens shapes for the miners to wear as their eyes return to normal.
So why do they need the sunglasses? Experts say the miners’ eyes will be dilated, and this brings the risk of added UV exposure to delicate structures within the eye, specifically the retina. Considering the miners were in darkness since August, it will take some time for their retinas to reset and their normal vision to be restored.
Oakley Radar sunglasses feature a single-lens shield that wraps around the eyes. This will give the miners protection from sunlight — not just straight ahead but at the sides of their eyes as well. The Radar frames will be matched with Oakley’s darkest lens. A Dark Grey base is combined with Black Iridium lens coating that balances light and reduces glare. The miners’ color perception may be reduced after the long period in dim light, and this lens is designed to maintain accurate color perception. Oakley also says two lens shapes (“Path” and “Range”) were included with the interchangeable lens design. The difference in shape will allow for variances in facial anatomy to give each miner the best possible sun blockage.
Incidentally, Minister of Mining Laurence Golborne (who lead the rescue) has asked to wear one of the extra pairs to show solidarity.