Most of us understand the importance of protecting our skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays. We wear moisturizers with sun protection factor (SPF) as well as sunscreen lotions in the summer months, we know to keep out of the sun in the midday heat and we use UV protection on the ski slopes.
But did you know that what goes for skin also goes for eyes? That’s because UV rays can be dangerous for our eyes and can lead to both short-term conditions as well as permanent eye damage.
Year-round UV needs year-round protection.2
UV isn’t just a problem in the summer either as it can cause damage all year round. For example, exposure can be up to 100 times higher when sunlight is reflected off snow.
Once outside, almost any location, from ski slope to sea level, and any pastime from tennis to walking exposes us to UV radiation whether from a direct or reflected source. Even under water, at half a metre depth, UV radiation is still 40% as intense as at the surface.
Furthermore, most people don’t realize that UV eye exposure is greatest during early morning and late afternoon – and in non-equatorial regions – when the sun is lower in the sky. This makes exposure of eyes to harmful UV rays more likely.
Not only can UV rays pierce cloud cover, they refl ect off all surfaces at different – and often surprisingly high – degrees. For example, UV radiation is still 95% as intense off water.
Young eyes need extra care.
Young people are especially vulnerable to the effects of UV. That is because they have larger pupils, clearer lenses and tend to spend more time outdoors. Furthermore, they are less likely to wear sunglasses and hats. So it is important that they learn at an early age all the ways they can protect their eyes.
ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses are the only major brand which blocks at least 97% of UVB and 81% of UVA rays, as standard across the entire line.†*
Sunglasses are an essential part of protecting your eyes from UV. The added protection from ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses is important even if you wear sunglasses which may only provide partial protection – UV light can ‘leak’ around the edges and cause damage.3 And unlike sun protection for the skin, the UV-blocking ingredient is incorporated into the ACUVUE® Brand Lens material permanently – it won’t peel or wear off. Wearing UV-blocking contact lenses every day means that you have additional protection for your eyes.
*UVB and UVA blocking percentages are taken on average across the wave length.
Short-term effects of high exposure may result in temporary symptoms such as:
• Sore, red eye
• Excessive watering
The long-term effects are more serious, possibly leading to vision loss from conditions such as cataracts.4,5
• Wear UV-blocking contact lenses
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat
• Wear UV-blocking sunglasses
• Use moisturizers with SPF on a daily basis, all year round
• Use high factor sunscreen lotion
1. http://www.btbp.org/products/claritypro.html. 2. Schnider C, Sasaki H, Sakamoto Y et al. UV Danger in the UK? U Bet! BCLA 2010 Conference presentation abstract. 3. Kwok LS, Daszynski DC, Kuznetsov VA, Pham T, Ho A, Coroneo MT. Peripheral light-focussing as a potential mechanism for phakic dysphotopsia and lens phototoxicity. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2004;24(2):119-29. 4. Chandler H. UV absorption by contact lenses and the signifi cance on the ocular anterior segment. Eye & Contact Lens 2011;37:4 259-266. 5. Chalam KV, Khetpal V, Rusovici R et al. A review: role of ultraviolet radiation in age-related macular degeneration. Eye & Contact Lens 2011;37:4 225-232.
Important information for contact lens wearers: ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses are available by prescription only for vision correction. An eye care professional will determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye care professional. Do not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. If one of these conditions occurs, contact your eye care professional immediately. For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye care professional and ask for a Patient Instruction Guide, call 1-800-267-5098 or visit acuvue.ca.
† Helps protect against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye.
WARNING: UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed. NOTE: Long-term exposure to UV radiation is one of the risk factors associated with cataracts. Exposure is based on a number of factors such as environmental conditions (altitude, geography, cloud cover) and personal factors (extent and nature of outdoor activities). UV-blocking contact lenses help provide protection against harmful UV radiation. However, clinical studies have not been done to demonstrate that wearing UV-blocking contact lenses reduces the risk of developing cataracts or other eye disorders. Consult your eye care professional for more information.
ACUVUE®, SEE WHAT COULD BE®, 1-DAY ACUVUE® TruEye®, 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST®, ACUVUE® OASYS®, HYDRACLEAR® and LACREON® are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. © Johnson & Johnson, Inc. 2014