As we’ve had a few months to finally embrace the warmth of Summer, by now you are sure to have heard the reminder to “Wear your sunscreen!” before jumping out the door.
Although it’s clear we want to avoid long-term damage, health risks, and premature aging factors, those harmful UV rays can cause our skin… You may be wondering, why do we need to protect our eyes from the Sun too? As they say, too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.
Studies have shown that just like your skin can be susceptible to sun damage and premature aging by prolonged UV exposure, so can your vision. According to extensive optical research, UVA/UVB rays remain one of the biggest threats against our eye health, so much so it’s often called, ‘The Invisible Threat.’
Continue reading to find out how too much sun exposure can cause premature damage to the eyes, resulting in various optical issues such as corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Not to worry, however, because we are here to arm you with all you need to know to protect your eyes and keep you looking stylish while you’re at it.
Unmasking the Invisible Threat
UV-A and UV-B Rays, What’s the difference?
UV radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation that comes from sunlight or artificial sources, such as black lights or tanning beds. It is often known as an invisible threat because these harmful UV rays exist on a wavelength beyond what human eyes are capable of seeing. UVA rays can cause indirect damage to the skin and eyes, leading to premature aging as a result. UVA rays are more penetrating than UVB, meaning they have the ability to affect cells deep into the skin barrier.
These rays are often associated with various types of cancers because, unlike UVB, these rays are not absorbed by the Ozone layer. About 95% of UV rays that reach the ground are actually UVA rays, whereas UVB rays are often filtered out. The effects of UVA rays can appear right away, leading to the result of sunburn of the skin or photokeratitis; otherwise known as sunburn of the eyes. UVA rays can penetrate through windows and clouds, so you should always wear protective eyewear when exposed to sunlight even during the Winter or while driving.
UVB rays on the other hand have the ability to directly damage the skin's DNA. These rays are absorbed by the clouds and some windows, but not all of them. Usually, the effects of UVB rays are not seen until a few hours after exposure.
UV Protection: A Necessity, Not a Luxury
The Eyes' Natural Guardian
The human eye possesses some intrinsic defenses against UVA and UVB rays, primarily in the cornea and the crystalline lens. These ocular components act as natural filters, absorbing a portion of harmful UV radiation. However, these defenses have their limitations. UV exposure over time can overwhelm these natural defenses, particularly in cases of prolonged sun exposure, and lead to cumulative damage to the eye's delicate tissues. Additionally, the cornea and lens can only absorb a fraction of UV radiation, leaving significant portions to potentially penetrate the eye and risk the development of macular degeneration, cataracts, farsightedness, or in severe cases, complete loss of vision or blindness.
Needless to say, this underlines the importance of additional eyewear protection such as sunglasses or UV-blocking contact lenses. These types of contacts provide comprehensive shielding against the detrimental effects of UV rays and ensure long-term eye health.
Although we have some natural human superpowers to protect us from the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays, our biology simply isn’t enough if we want to fully protect ourselves from the risks and/or damage caused by these harmful rays.
Acuvue Oasys Lenses
Your Daily Armor Against UV Threats
You’ve heard it many times by now – always wear protective eyewear during sun exposure. With so many options, which one is right for you?
You may notice that several contacts now offer an added boost of UV protection, but today we will showcase Acuvue Oasys contact lenses. These contacts offer the highest level of UV protection when compared to any other contact lens on the market. They protect the eyes from more than 99% UVB and 95% of UVA-1 rays. Yes, you heard that right. While these contacts do indeed add an extra layer of protection to our eyes, it is important to double up the safety with sunglasses to ensure your eyes and the sensitive skin around them get optimal protection, as these contacts alone won’t filter out all UVA/UVB rays.
How exactly does it work?
The way that contacts protect your eyes is actually surprisingly similar to how sunglasses do. A well-fitting soft contact lens covers the entire cornea and limbus, adding a UV-blocker into a soft lens helps to protect both this area and the interior of the eye from the transmission of direct and reflected UV rays, working like an extra layer of protection. Think of it like a warm sweater under your Spring jacket. Although the sun may be shining, the wind is still brisk, so you’ll need that extra layer to keep you shielded from that cold winter breeze.
Beyond UV Protection
More Than Meets the Eye
UV protection isn’t exactly the only thing that makes Acuvue Oasys Lenses so popular. Did you know these are some of the top-selling contact lenses worldwide? There’s a reason for that– or many.
These lenses not only keep your eyes protected, but they also keep them comfortable. One of the biggest complaints from traditional contact lens wearers is the lack of breathability. After a long day sometimes the biggest relief is taking out our contacts. But with these lenses, you may even forget you have them in. That definitely doesn’t mean you should sleep in them, though.
Here’s the science behind it.
The eyes need enough oxygen to stay white and healthy, and Acuvue Oasys lenses have a high level of permeability that allows up to 98% of free oxygen flow into the eye. These contacts employ moisture-locking technology to keep in moisture and prevent irritants from getting into your eyes. The lenses also have ultra-thin edges that conform to the eye’s surface to provide an extra layer of comfort.
These soft disposable contacts are fit for challenging environments. They offer lenses in daily, biweekly, and monthly replacement schedules, so they are suitable for those with a variety of lifestyles. There are many options from Acuvue Oasys for wearers with a wide variety of Rx, including Farsightedness (Hyperopia), Nearsightedness (Myopia), Presbyopia, and Astigmatism.
The moisture-locking feature provides hydration and comfort, which is an excellent option for those who spend extended time in the sun or looking at digital screens, making Acuvue Oasys a great choice all year round.
Making Informed Choices
Your Vision, Your Future
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, we are here to give you the knowledge and tools you need to keep your eyes healthy. The rest is up to you! If you’re ever unsure, our customer service representatives are available to you 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about products listed on our site. If you have rather specific questions or concerns about your prescription, always consult with your eye care professional and ensure that your eye exam is up to date.
If you’re interested in Acuvue Oasys lenses and don’t already have a prescription for them, speak to your doctor about making the switch today! Visit our site to pick up your first box at an affordable price with flexible payment options. Remember that UV-blocking contacts are not a substitute for protective eyewear, but rather an added boost of protection to safeguard your vision all year long. Enjoy the rest of your Summer, stay stylish, and don’t forget your sunglasses!
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact lenses can provide UV protection, but not all of them do. Acuvue Oasys lenses, for example, offer built-in UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful UVA & UVB rays.
Not using UV-protective contact lenses can expose your eyes to the dangers of UV radiation. Prolonged UV exposure may increase the risk of eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as other eye discomforts.
Acuvue Oasys contacts are specially designed to provide UV protection, whereas other contact lens brands may not offer this feature. These lenses have a protective layer that helps block harmful UVA/UVB rays and safeguard your eye health.
While UV-blocking contact lenses offer valuable protection, they should not be considered a substitute for sunglasses. Sunglasses provide comprehensive eye coverage, including protection for the delicate skin around your eyes, which contact lenses cannot offer. That being said, contact lenses with UV protection are better than not having any UV protection at all.
Acuvue Oasys Lenses with UV protection are designed for daily wear. However, it's essential to follow your eye care professional's recommendations for lens wear and care. Be mindful of proper lens hygiene, cleaning, and replacement schedules to ensure long-term comfort and eye health.