Three of the rescued Chilean miners have been released from hospital and allowed to go home after amazing doctors.

Three men took off their dark sunglasses, worn to protect their eyes after spending 69 days in underground darkness, after being discharged to visit their friends and families.

The majority of the 33 miners – whose rescue from the collapsed San Jose gold mine gripped the nation – will be monitored at a hospital in Copiapo.

However, doctors have said all the miners had responded well to treatment and many more of them would go home today.

All but a few of them are said to be in good health – although many are having trouble sleeping.

Some of the miners are also suffering from minor anxiety. One man has been treated for pneumonia, and two needed dental work.

Chile has promised to care for the miners for six months at least. However, psychiatrists and other experts predict their lives will be anything but normal.

Following the flawless rescue mission, which saw each of the men brought 2000ft to the Earth’s surface, they posed together yesterday for the first time.

Yesterday, they met with President Sebastian Pinera who visited them in hospital.

Dr Jorge Montes, deputy medical director at the Copiapo hospital which has been treating the men, told the BBC the three who had been discharged from hospital would be allowed to carry out physical activity and would need sunglasses only if they were exposed to intense light.

Although “the psychological condition of the patients is something we cannot predict”, he said.

One of the three, Edison Pena, described his homecoming as “very beautiful”. “I thought I would never return,” he said.

Another Juan Illanes told cheering friends and neighbours: “This is really incredible. It hasn’t sunk in.”