I wrote this review while participating in an Influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for participating.
My family and I have several trips planned this summer, all involving the outdoors. We all take our eye health very seriously (all 3 of us wear glasses and/or contacts) so we know the importance of keeping our eyes in the best condition possible. When we spend out time outdoors, we take certain measures to protect our eyes from the sun. We use a combination of hats, sunglasses (making sure that there is some type of UV protection available- I even bring the generic glasses to our optometrist to make sure they’re good enough), umbrellas, seek out shelter and more. When seeking out shelter, we normally head in during the mornings and evenings because that’s when your yes are more likely to get extreme UV exposure. Also, grass, sand, and water are all more likely to reflect UV rays that can be even more harmful! As the days get longer, our UV exposure is increased. We’re talking spring through fall, you have to take extra steps to protect your eye health. I’m also a big fan of the site: Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know from ACUVUE®. There’s a ton of information there that’s extremely useful when it comes to your eye health. It’s also important to talk to your doctor about UV protection.
Experts say it is difficult to isolate the exact amount of damage that Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) imposes on the eye over long periods of time. However, a number of studies have shown that the effects of UV radiation are mostly cumulative and may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life, including cataracts, a leading cause of reduced vision in the United States.
Short-term damage to the eyes may be hard to notice, but over the long-term, the sun can cause irreversible harm to all structures of the eye and surrounding tissue that are left unprotected or under-protected. These conditions may not manifest for years at which point the damage is already done and it is too late to reverse the effects of the sun. That’s why it is important to start protecting eyes from childhood.
Younger eyes are more susceptible to exposure to the sun’s harmful rays than adults. Children have larger pupils (allowing more light into their eyes), clearer lenses, and are outside without eye protection much more frequently and for longer periods than most adults. It is estimated that a significant amount of lifetime exposure to UV rays may occur by age 18 and that children’s annual dose of UV radiation is three times that of adults.
Although direct light from the sun itself can be damaging to eyes, reflected ultraviolet (UV) rays from surfaces such as grass, soil, dry sand, water, and snow can also be harmful. UV protection also is important on a cloudy day as the sun’s rays can pass through thin clouds, exposing your eyes to harmful UV radiation.
While most sunglasses can help block UV rays from entering through the lenses, most frame styles do not prevent rays from reaching the eyes from the sides, top, and bottom of the glasses. Hats with brims offer no protection from UV rays reflected up from ground surfaces such as pavement, sand, and water.
UV blocking contact lenses can provide an important level of additional protection from UV exposure. Not all contact lenses offer UV protection, and, of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. ACUVUE® is the only major brand of contact lenses which blocks approximately 97%of UV-B and 81% of UV-A rays as standard across the entire range of its products.*although UV-blocking contact lenses are beneficial in helping to protect against harmful UV rays entering into the eye, long-term clinical studies have not been done to show that they directly reduce the risk of any specific eye disease or condition.
UV absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for devices like UV-blocking sunglasses as they do not completely cover the eye or the surrounding area. For more comprehensive UV protection, UV-blocking contact lenses should be worn as an added layer of protection in conjunction with high-quality UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
How do you protect your eyes from UV rays?