By: H. Ayesha Habib

 Well! Eyes are the most precious and special gift by ALLAH to us. We are always in the race of fashion and ignore the side effects of poor quality sunglasses. A pair of sunglasses seems so simple; it's two pieces of tinted glass or in some sort of plastic or metal frame. When we are out for shopping no matter what we shop or not but most of us end up at purchasing low quality sunglasses from the vendors on roads or streets just because the sunglasses they are selling are attractive and up to fashion trends; without noticing the UV protection scale we use them for the sake of fashion as trendy sunglasses became a symbol of status or modernization which actually are the evils for our eyes. HOW???

Professor Dr. Mumtaz Hussain; Professor of Ophthalmology and Head of Ophthalmology department, Shalamar Hospital and Shalamar Medical and Dental College said, “Yes it’s true!!! Those who use low quality sunglasses face various eye damages as the manufacturing of lens is of vital value. The process of light focusing reflects on the manufacturing of lens if the quality of lens is low it will definitely effect the image focusing and can cause blurred eye view. Due to the defection in the lens, it demands more power to build an image and not only affect our eyes but also our brain; because of it many people face intense headache.”

What is UV Rays? And how they affect our eyes? “Actually Ultraviolet rays are spectrum of sun light. Human eye only perceive 400 to 750 micrometer frequency, spectrum of UltraViolet Rays started when we perceive less than this frequency range. They are damaging as on cornea it started breaches shaped like small dots.”

Which type of diseases we can catch by using low quality sunglasses?

“Photo keratitis also called “sunburn of the eye’, skiers often get this if they don’t wear sunglasses with proper UV protection. A few hours after enjoying the sun, the eye gets painful, gritty and vision becomes blurred. And rarely it cause macular degeneration means central vision is lost. The macular is the most sensitive part of the inside of our eye (the retina). Excesses of UV light damages this delicate region and eventually prevents you from seeing clearly.”

What you suggest to our readers? “The purpose of sunglasses is to protect eye lens from light distortion and restrain pupil to over constrict only if we use UV protection sunglasses. Now in markets polarized sunglasses are also available for more effective protection. In my opinion, spending the 50 or 100 rupees for trendy glasses that don’t block out ultraviolet rays may ultimately cost you more than going without.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Muhammad Naseer also shares his knowledge on low quality sunglasses. “Chemicals in paints and low quality plastic use in sunglasses produce improper image formation and causes distortion in viewing. UV rays passes easily through low quality sunglasses cause eye dryness and tiredness.

What are the effects of different colors of sunglasses?

Mostly, dark colors like brown, black and blue sunglasses are preferable but people use different color sunglasses according to their personal likeness.

Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear designed primarily to prevent bright sunlight and high energy visible light from damaging eyes.

When I questioned Pervaiz Khan, the common vendor, about low quality sunglasses, he said, “Mostly, students come to purchase these sunglasses as a competition in fashion. I sell these sunglasses to earn my living and I don’t force anyone to purchase them.”

Although, when I questioned the other vendors about the quality of sunglasses they are selling, their answer was shocking as they said we purchase these glasses from Shalmi on wholesale deal and sell with the profit of 20 rupees on each pair; all they know about eyewear.

It turns out that there are many different things you can do with two pieces of glass, and these things can have a big effect on you.

So when you’re out shopping for sunglasses, make sure that they have proper UV protection. Check tags and question the vendor about the quality of sunglasses!!!

Published in Young Nation magazine on 12 Sep, 2015