Can Contacts Protect Your Eyes from the Sun?

Most of us know how important it is to protect our eyes from the sun.  But, did you know that wearing certain brands of contact lenses can also help protect your eyes?  By wearing contact lenses with UV protection you can block out even more of the sun’s damaging rays.

I recently noticed this as I was opening a new box of Acuvue contacts that it said they had UV protection.  I thought I’d check out exactly what that meant.  It turns out that Acuvue brand contacts offer pretty high levels of help against the sun’s scorching power–which could actually burn your cornea.  UV protection in contact lenses has nothing to do with contact lens tint though, so don’t be fooled into thinking that your dark blue or amber tinted lenses are helping you because they are colored.

There are several other contact lens brands also offer some level of UV protection, so ask your optometrist about any protection included in the contact lens brands that you prefer.

Sun protection is so important for our eyes.  But, I really had no idea just how vital it was.  Did you know that excessive sun exposure on your eyeballs–even too much exposure during your childhood- can play a role in the development of many eye-related diseases?  The most common disease that you hear people associate with too much sun exposure is skin cancer, of course.  This can develop as melanoma on your eye lids. But, you can also develop age related macular degeneration or cataracts.

When you have UV protection in your contacts (and when you wear your lenses daily) you have a certain amount of assurance that you are always blocking the UV rays — even on days when it’s cloudy or overcast and you may not think of using any other forms of sun protection.

The cool thing about the UV protection in contact lenses is that since the contacts sit right on your eyeball, nothing is going to get past the portion of your eye that is protected by the lens.  But, the thing to remember is that contact lenses don’t cover your entire eyeball, so you shouldn’t rely on them alone to protect your whole eye.  You’ll still need a high quality pair of sunglasses like the one’s available through your closest America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses.  Don’t bother with drug store sunglasses or the high fashion types you may be able to buy on the street. If the lenses aren’t reputably labeled as 99%-100% UV ray blocking they may actually harm your eyes more than they help them.

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