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.
I am an Arizona native so I know a thing or two about the sun. I even had skin cancer cut from my forehead at the age of 32. The sun and I have a real love/hate relationship. There are times I relish in the sunlight and what it brings, and other times I hide from it and wish for a cloudy day. As a mom I always consider eye health when planning outdoor activities. Everyone thinks of sunscreen but it seems few consider eye health when planning for family time in the sun.
How do you plan for the summer sun? When you venture outside do you bring an umbrella, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen? Those are all great ideas but did you know that reflected ultraviolet (UV) rays from surfaces such as grass, soil, sand, and water can also be harmful to your eyes? The sun’s UV rays can still reach your eyes through the sides of your sunglasses and they can reflect from the ground right up under your hat. This fact makes me glad I wear contact lenses because I can wear sunglasses with a high SPF factor right on top of my eyes that are wearing UV blocking contact lenses. My contact lenses are no substitute for UV blocking sunglasses, but they are an extra layer of protection. I wear ACUVUE because it 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.
So why does this all matter? Did you know that sun damage to your eyes is cumulative and irreversible? Eyes that are damaged by the sun’s UV rays are more likely to develop eye problems like cataracts and even reduced vision? Eye protection needs to start early. Children receive three times the annual dose of UV radiation as adults receive. Are you protecting your children’s eyes?
Here is a quick list of some basic ways you can guard against sun damage to your eyes (and skin) this summer:
- Wear a hat.
- Use an umbrella or other cover for extended periods in the sun.
- Wear sunscreen outside even on cloudy days (the UV rays still get through the clouds).
- Wear UV blocking sunglasses.
- If you wear contact lenses be sure they protect from UV exposure.
- Buy bathing suits with SPF.
For more information be sure to visit Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know. Now get out and enjoy the summer and don’t forget to protect your eyes!
Please note: 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.