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Why Cheap Sunglasses Can Do More Harm Than Good

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The sun shines relentlessly all year round on our little red dot and sunglasses are not just fashion accessories for us, but essentials in our daily life to keep out the glare.

 

Credit: Francesca Tan

Fashion trends change so fast and those mirrored sunglasses that are so in demand are passé in a matter of months, and we see ourselves chasing after those tinted sunglasses shortly. Because we update our sunglasses designs so frequently, we are always tempted to grab cheaper ones off the aisles of those dollar-shops. But, are they really good for our eyes?

Our biology lessons would have already taught us that our pupils constrict when our surroundings are bright, and dilate when our surroundings are dark. Therefore, it is common sense to know that our pupils dilate when we put on sunglasses to cut out the glare. With a good pair of sunglasses that have got UVA and UVB protection, your eyes can get a relief from the glare with its dark lenses, and yet still be protected from the UV rays, and hence, you know that you are in good hands. 

 

Credit: Daily Mail

However, many cheap sunglasses only darken the lenses of the sunglasses and do not come with UVA and UVB protection. In this case, your sunglasses will only filter out the surrounding ambient light, but the UV rays can still enter your eyes. With the darkened lenses, your pupils are now dilated and you are now allowing many times more UV rays to enter your eyes. It isn't difficult to imagine how much harm that is going to do to your eyes. The additional exposure to UV rays can put you at risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, and even ocular melanoma.

But it is not to say that all cheap sunglasses are bad. You don't have to burst your bank and buy the designers sunglasses all the time. As long as you make sure that the cheaper pair you are buying is from a reliable seller or brand, and it comes with UVA and UVB protection, then you are good to go.