The Hidden Dangers of Counterfeit Sunglasses
When it comes to buying sunglasses, many people just prioritise style and affordability. This is where counterfeit sunglasses come in, trying to infiltrate the market by offering consumers a cheaper alternative with attractive designs. However, counterfeit sunglasses can pose serious dangers to your eyes and overall health. It's essential to understand the risks, along with how to spot fake sunglasses, protect your eyes from sun damage and gain knowledge about different types of UV rays.
The Risks Associated with Counterfeit Sunglasses
Lack of UV Protection: One of the biggest risks associated with counterfeit sunglasses is no or next to none in terms of UV protection. Genuine sunglasses usually provide UV400 protection blocking almost all harmful UVA and UVB rays. UV radiation can cause eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and even eye cancer. Counterfeit sunglasses, however, fail to provide this level of protection, which means there is a dangerous exposure of your eyes to harmful UV radiation.
Poor Quality Materials: Another risk with counterfeit sunglasses is the inferior materials used in their production. Genuine sunglasses are made with durable materials designed to last and provide protection. Counterfeit sunglasses, on the other hand, tend to break easily, which means they may not last one season or even one holiday period, they could also cause you injury and fail to give you enough protection against glare and impact.
Poor Visual Quality: Counterfeit sunglasses usually have lenses of lower visual quality which leads to image distortion. This distortion can disorient you, potentially causing you headaches, eye strain, and even nausea if you are wearing these.
False Economy: Counterfeit sunglasses seem like a budget-friendly option but their poor durability and quality equals more replacements which makes it potentially a more expensive option in the long run.
Supporting Illegal Activity: When you buy counterfeit products, you may indirectly support criminal networks or poor working conditions and pay involved in the making and distribution of these products.
Economic Impact: The counterfeit industry also impacts the economy by hurting actual legitimate businesses, affects employment, and results in lost revenues in tax for governments.
How to Spot Counterfeit Sunglasses
Making sure sunglasses are the real deal can be tricky, but there are signs that can help you spot the difference between genuine and counterfeit products. Counterfeit sunglasses often have spelling errors on the packaging, logos where there shouldn’t be, and they usually don’t have the manufacturer's information or country of origin. The lenses might show signs of distortion or uneven tinting. Counterfeit sunglasses most of the time will feel lighter and cheaper because of the inferior materials used.
Protecting Your Eyes from Sun Damage
There are several ways to protect your eyes from sun damage. First always wear sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. A hat can give you that extra added protection. It's also essential that you avoid direct sunlight during peak hours (midday to 4 pm), when the sun's rays are strongest. Regular eye exams can help detect any early signs of sun damage to your eyes.
Understanding the Different Types of UV Rays
UV radiation is divided into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The bad news is that UVC rays are the most harmful but the good news is that they are absorbed by the earth's atmosphere! However, UVA and UVB rays can reach the earth's surface and harm you.
UVA rays make up 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth's surface. They can penetrate deep into your skin and eyes, causing damage in the long term such as wrinkles and some types of skin cancer. On the other hand, UVB rays are slightly absorbed by the ozone layer but are much more intense than UVA rays. They are the main cause of sunburn, one of the potential causes of cataracts and other harmful effects on the eyes.
In summary, you should be aware of the dangers of counterfeit sunglasses and how important proper eye protection against UV rays can make a massive difference to your eye health. Remember, the next time you buy sunglasses, it shouldn’t be just about style or affordability, but also about making sure you are protecting your eyes from potential harm.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 8 Jul 2023, Last modified: 9 Sep 2023