Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tips on Protecting Your Eyes From the Sun

I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of HealthyWomen and VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for taking the time to participate.

I published a post recently on protecting your eyes from the sun and just how important it is to ensure that your entire family reaches for their sunglasses before heading outdoors. Have you already taken steps to remember to keep your eyes safe from UV radiation?

While I already knew that I wanted to keep my family's peepers protected, I was still glad to be able to learn even more about the dangers of UV exposure to the eyes thanks to HealthyWomen and the VISTAKON Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., manufacturer of ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses.

HealthyWomen Vistakon logo

Did you know that while direct sunlight can be extremely damaging to the eyes, reflected UV rays (i.e., from water, grass, sand) can be even more dangerous? Fresh snow reflects as much as 80% of UV radiation; dry sand about 15% ; and sea foam about 25% . And, because you're more likely to look down than up, more UV light is reflected directly into your eyes — hats with brims offer no protection from reflected UV rays. 

Therefore, the rule of thumb to follow is that more is better when it comes to protecting your family's eyes from the sun. The best protection isn't just one product, but a combination of sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and for some, UV-blocking contact lenses.

And, while millions of adults and children wear contact lenses, not all are following all of the rules for safe and proper use — only 2% of contact lens wearers do! So, amidst the outdoor fun, our eyes become susceptible to dirt, allergens and other irritants.

For this reason, the daily eye care routine for contact wearers, both kids and adults, needs to be followed very closely as we place these directly on our eyes day after day.


I have worn contact lenses for decades (for sports, appearance, convenience and more) and always thought that I was doing a decent job taking care of them — and my eyes — until I visited HealthyWomen.org's article titled Contact Lenses: Tips for Proper Wear and Care and looked over their list of tips for healthy contact lens wear and care.

A few that stood out to me include:
  • Remember: contacts and water don't mix. Never store your contacts in water or wear them while showering, using a hot tub, swimming or engaging in other water sports. Tap water contains impurities that can damage your lenses and may lead to severe eye infections, leading to partial vision loss or blindness. 
  • Do not mix brands of contact solution.
  • Replace your lens case at least every three months.
Wait, I'm not supposed to wear contacts while swimming? That's one of the main times that I put them in! And while I don't think that I've ever mixed contact solutions together, I'm sure I've probably switched from one to a different one depending on what was available and where I was. As for replacing my case every three months? I think mine is switched out for a new one when I realize that it looks pretty dirty?

contact lens case

As well as making sure that you are following the rules of contact lenses in order to protect your eyes, it is also important to note that most contacts don't offer UV protection at all. Ack!

Therefore, it is important to ask your eye care professional about lenses with UV blocking for an added layer of protection: ACUVUE OASYS Brand Contact Lenses, or for those who prefer a daily disposable contact lens, 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye Contact Lenses, offer the highest level of UV-blocking available in a contact lens.

Overall, the health of our eyes is not something to take lightly. Be sure to visit the HealthyWomen.org Eye Health Center to find out much more about everything eye-related — in particular how to protect your eyes from the sun and what you need to know about the sun and your eyes.

Don't let your family's eyes be at risk — protect them well and stay educated on keeping them healthy and safe for years to come!

kids sunglasses


brich2222 said...

I did not even know they had lenses with uv blocking. I used to wear them years ago. Going to ask my optometrist about them!

Paula V said...

Well, yeah, I fail the test too. I wear them in the shower and would swimming too if I went much. Geesh, putting my eyeballs in first thing is a must...before I brush my teeth, shower, or anything. I've not switched my container but I do clean it out with a q-tip and then rinse with contact solution every month or so.

slehan said...

I never leave the house without my sunglasses. I get a headache if I don't wear them. I have Overcast glasses that go over my regular glasses.

slehan at juno dot com

Unknown said...

Since I had catarac surgery I cannot leave the house without my sunglasses...the glare hurts my eyes. It is important to take care of our vision at all times

Unknown said...

My eyes are really sensitive to the sun so I always have my sunglasses on outdoors.

knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com