March 31, 2020
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Refractive Error

Don't settle for cheap sunglasses. They could be bad for your eyes.

Refractive Error
Refractive Error
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Anupriya Mehta, 24, a Delhi-based fashion design student, can’t stop fretting about her trip to Europe being postponed by two weeks. "It’s because of my eyes," she says. "They’ve been giving me a lot of trouble lately. They feel excessively itchy and dry." She thought the culprit was her mascara, but it turned out to be her cheap sunglasses. "I have quite a collection—about 14 of them. In fact, I used to be known in college as Miss Shady. But they are all of a cheap variety, straight off pavement shops. It’s really tempting to pick these gleaming numbers for about 100 bucks or so. They looked great, just like the expensive branded stuff. But now I’ve found out that they are bad for my eyes."

On her doctor’s advice, she has now decided to part ways with the fake Ray Bans, Killer Loops, Armanis and Guccis. "I’m not seeing the world through them anymore. I’ll stick to my one or two authentic shades—boring but safe."

K.L. Sethi, senior consultant, Opthalmology, Apollo Hospital, explains why you shouldn’t buy shades with your eyes wide shut. "The lenses might have a refractive error. (Refractive error exists when light does not focus perfectly onto the retina.) The glasses are supposed to be plain. These factors could result in a condition known as chronic vision syndrome." Symptoms include itchiness, dryness, strained eye muscles, or headaches. Dryness leaves your eyes prone to infection. Treatment involves using eye drops. Also, in the sidewalk varieties, the cheap frames and lenses heat and melt easily.

Though it’s difficult for a lay person to be sure that the shades he/she has picked up has protection from ultra-violet rays—exposure to which can harm your retina—most reputed optical houses have a machine to test that. As far as brand options go, you may go for desi brands beginning at Rs 500 to Cartier at the other end of the spectrum ranging from Rs 15,000-45,000.

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