Patients receiving phototherapy for various dermatoses are at increased risk of eye damage due to ultraviolet (UV) rays. They are prescribed UV protective sunglasses by dermatologists but their exact protecting effects are not known.
To study the ultraviolet protective properties of branded and unbranded UV protective sunglasses available in the Indian market, in UV phototherapy chambers.
Sixteen different branded and unbranded UV protective sunglasses were collected from two opticians in Mumbai. Baseline irradiance of the UV chamber was calculated by exposing the photosensitive probe of UV photometer in the chamber. Then, the photosensitive probe of the UV photometer was covered with the UV protective glass to be studied and irradiance was noted. Such readings were taken for each of the UV protective sunglasses. The percentage reduction in the UV rays' penetration of different UV protective sunglasses was calculated.
Thirteen sunglasses provided > 80% reduction in UVA rays penetration, of which four were branded (out of the four branded studied) and nine were unbranded (out of the 12 unbranded studied). More than 70% reduction in UVB penetration was provided by 12 sunglasses, which included 10 unbranded and two branded sunglasses.
All branded sunglasses provided good protection against UVA penetration, but UVB protection provided by both branded and unbranded sunglasses was not satisfactory. A few unbranded sunglasses had poor efficacy for UVA and UVB spectra; one branded glass had poor efficacy for protection against the UVB spectrum. The efficacy of sunglasses used for phototherapy should be assessed before use.
Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology 73(1):26-8. · 1.33 Impact Factor