Ceylon Today - Substandard sunglasses do more damage to your eyes

"If your sunglass do not have proper UV protection and the necessary standards, it's better that you not wear a sunglass rather than wear a low quality pair," alerted Anoma Opticians; one of the leading opticians in the country.

"People wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun. But most of the people buying sunglasses tend to look at the price and ignore the quality of the sunglasses. Anoma Opticians reminded that the look, price and texture matters, but what matters most is the quality of the sunglasses. Sunglasses are a form of protective eye wear meant to prevent bright and ultra-violet light from damaging and discomforting the eyes. Sunglasses also help to act as a fashion trend. Some people do not pay much attention to the quality and tend to buy low quality products at a cheap price as people lack awareness about the importance of wearing good quality sunglasses with UV protection," highlighted Consultant Optometrist Sahani Dias.

"People tend to mix up the difference between UV protection and Polarization. While UV protection is essential in each and every sunglass, Polarization is an added effect which gives more comfort in very bright sunlight but it's not a protection," she further stated.

"People must be very cautious when they buy cosmetic or colour contact lenses. Before they buy the contact lenses it is essential to do relevant eye checkups from an eye care practitioner and buy quality contact lenses from those professionals. Unfortunately some people are not aware of these important things and buy contact lenses from beauticians and so on. It is important to make people aware that contact lenses are not meant to be hired or shared. This can be very harmful to their eyes. This may even lead to infections and even cause severe conditions like corneal ulcers and so on," Sahani added.

Sahani also opined that adults should do their eye check-up at least once every two years and twice every year for children. But if you have a history of diabetes or other complications more frequent checkups may be necessary.

"We always focus on giving professional and personalized service to all our customers and we offer the best quality products to our customers at an affordable price. We carry a wide selection of frames, lenses and sunglasses from inexpensive ones to designer range and have an array of international brands," said Sahani.

Anoma Wijesuriya, Founder of Anoma Opticians began the company nearly three decades ago, after qualifying as an Optometrist in the UK. Anoma Opticians is based in Nugegoda and is the only outlet serving customers from all over the country. After nearly three decades since its inception, Anoma Opticians proudly serves many generations of customers whilst continually striving to improve their level of service as "The professional people who care for your eyes" and offers personalized customer service whilst holding the forefront in Sri Lankan optical industry.



What is Keratoconus? - Sahani Dias Bsc Optometry

Keratoconus is a disorder of the anterior (front) surface of the eye-that is, the cornea. In simple terms, the cornea becomes thinner, causing it to bulge from its normal round shape to form a cone shape. This bulging interferes with one's vision and can severely affect the way objects are seen, making simple tasks like reading, watching TV or driving very difficult. The distortion caused by Keratoconus has been compared to that of viewing a street sign through the windscreen of a car during a driving rainstorm.

The progression of Keratoconus is unpredictable but it generally occurs slowly and may even cease at some stage. While Keratoconus interferes with the clarity of a person's sight, it rarely causes blindness. In its early stages, it causes slight blurring, distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light.

In its early stages, the vision impairment caused by keratoconus can be treated by using spectacles to correct the resultant minor myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. As the disorder develops, the degree of vision obtained though spectacles becomes steadily less acceptable. If the condition continues to worsen and vision is not improved with the aid of spectacles, specially made gas permeable (GP) contact lenses will be required.

Precise measurements of the eye are first made using special equipment in order to generate a computerized picture of the shape of the cone and the cornea. This information and other date on the corrections required for myopia and astigmatism are fed into special electronically-controlled lathes which then proceed to manufacture the precise lenses required. It is thus ensured that the lenses are custom-made to suit individual eyes. The perfect fir achieved leads not only to optimum visual acuity (sharpness of vision) but also to better comfort.

Needless to say, the testing, manufacturing and fitting of these lenses require highly skilled personnel and the most modern equipment. The majority of patients can successfully manage their keratoconus with the GP contact lenses. However, in small number of cases, where the cornea can no longer be successfully fitted with contact lenses, a corneal transplant may become unavoidable, as a last resort.



Optometrist enjoys fruits of hard work - Sanjeevi Jayasuriya

Entering a male dominated field and becoming a successful entrepreneur is a remarkable achievement. Optometrist Anoma Wijesuriya enjoys the fruits of her hard work and dedication as she successfully manages Anoma Opticians.

This business venture has become a preferred choice among many and she has served three/four generations of customers making them a close family unit.

She was interviewed by Daily News Business.

Q. What is the type of your business and how did you set about it?
A. I am an optometrist by profession and my business deals with the service of providing eye care for customers. The business covers in spectacles, contact lenses and eye equipment. Before starting the business, I went to England straight from school and followed a three-and-half-year course in optometry and became professionally qualified. After I returned to Sri Lanka I joined William Pedris - one of the very few companies with qualified optometrists at that time.

I worked for seven years and gathered considerable experience. When my father and brothers encouraged me to start a business of my own and to enter into commercial operations they too supported me. In March 1984 I started Anoma Opticians. When I entered the industry 26 years ago, it was mostly run as family businesses. I was the first woman to run an optical business on my own. However, I am glad that today many professionals engage in this business after receiving training from well-known optometrists.

Q. How do you balance family life and business?
A. It’s easy for me. I am lucky that I am single. I do not have many responsibilities. Unlike in today’s context, we are a close-knit family. We have strong family ties. Though some of my family members are abroad we are in constant contact with one another. I am very attached to my nieces and nephews. I entertain them a great deal and have looked in to their needs when they were young. Now they are adults and the strong bond still remains. Unlike a married woman, I have more freedom and more free time to do what I like.

Q. What are the challenges you faced?
A. As a woman it was difficult to continue in my chosen profession, as it was a male dominated field. It was a new beginning for a woman to enter this medical line of business. This was essentially a man’s job and it was quite tough at the beginning.

It took a number of years of hard work to break the barriers to prove that my service is equal or better than that of men. I have made life easy for women to follow. However, the thinking is now different and many women are engaged in this field as well as in many others.

Q. What is your advice to women in business?
A. I have made it easier for other women to enter this field. It is much easier for them now. I was able to achieve this with hard work, courage, dedication, application and determination. My advice is that women should be patient and do whatever they do well continuously to provide an efficient service to to customers. Don’t be discouraged when you have to face difficulties and continue the good work. It is important to maintain high standards to be successful. Start small and improve gradually to reach the top.

Q. What are your goals?
A. My goals are to do well and be happy. I enjoy working. I meet several friends, especially my clients turned friends. I have built a long standing relationship with them. What I consider the most important is to be content with life.

Q. As a woman was it an advantage to be in business?
A. Not at all. It was a matter of being a professional when providing the eye care service. When you give a proper and quality service one’s gender does not matter. The business I engages in is an interesting and complicated process. The spectacles I dispense are comfortable, looking good and suit the face and profession of the wearer.

Q. What were your achievements in business and family?
A. I built this business with a great deal of hard work. It is a reputed service provider and stands tall among others in the field. I have also built a loyal customer base. I have provided employment for around 15 young girls and boys who have been trained and guided to do a proper job of work. Anoma Opticians is a recognized business entity and it is on par with other industrialists. We provide the best service using state-of-the-art technology.

I have provided all facilities to take the business to the next level. I hope that the business will reach greater heights in the years to come.

Q. What is your contribution to society?
A. I have done numerous meritorious deeds, but not for the sake of publicity. I provide free spectacles for the needy. I have donated artificial limbs to soldiers and helped build houses and sanitary facilities for them. I am also involved in helping schoolchildren in rural areas. Whenever possible I help others to make them happy. As a Buddhist I lead a simple lifestyle and consider mental happiness more important than monetary gains.