Most people by now are fully aware that protecting both your skin and eyes from ultra-violet light can help prevent early aging, disease, and even cancer. It would also be safe to assume that people recognize that sun-block protects your skin, while sunglasses protect your eyes from ultra-violet light. What most people aren’t aware of, is that you can help protect your eyes from ultra-violet light without wearing sunglasses.
Many popular contact lenses these days such as Acuvue Oasys are now being manufactured with built-in ultra-violet blocking tints, that greatly reduce the effects damaging UV rays would have on your eyes. Acuvue Oasys contacts are so effective at preventing ultra violet light from damaging the covered portions of your eyes, that they can block 100% of UV-B rays, and up to 96% of UV-A rays, leading some to refer to them as “sunglass contacts”. With the summer coming closer, it may be benefical to consider switching to a lens that can offer both sun protection as well as vision correction.
Can UV-Tints Replace Sunglasses?
While technology has come a long way in the last 5-10 years, most eye-care professionals still recommend wearing standard sunglasses additional to your UV-protection contacts. Even if ultra violet lens tints can protect against 96% of Ultra-Violet damage, they only protect the area of your eye in which they’re covering. Additionally, sunglasses provide a plethora of other benefits that contact lenses can’t provide, as mentioned in a previous post here.
Overview Of Benefits UV Protection Contacts Provide
Overall, the most important benefit of UV protection in contact lenses is that they can protect your eyes from the sun during times when you wouldn’t normally be wearing sunglasses. Many people wouldn’t bother wearing sunglasses while stepping outside to grab their mail, but even in those 2 minutes of outdoor sun exposure, your eyes are taking damage. Ultra violet light has been linked to many eye diseases, including age related macular degeneration, dry-eye syndrome, arc flash, cataracts, eye cancer, and many other. Additional to standard medical benefits, the tint that blocks UV rays may also make it easier to find dropped contacts, as it adds a light coloration when not in the eye.
When shopping for contact lenses, look for UV protection in the product description to see if the product has a built-in UV tint. All Acuvue contacts come with standard UV protection, and a few other popular lenses also include sun protection. As with all contact lenses, consult your doctor before switching or making any major contact lens decisions. A prescription is required for all contact lens products prior to purchasing.