Did you know it’s just as important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays as it is to shield your skin? The intense ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun may damage sensitive cells in the eyes, potentially affecting vision. Experts say it is difficult to isolate the exact amount of damage that UV radiation imposes on the eye over a long period. However, a number of studies have shown that the effects build up and may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life. These may include cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. Cataracts are a leading cause of reduced vision in the United States in people age 60 and older, according to the National Eye Institute.
While sunglasses are definitely a good idea when it comes to eye protection, not all sunglasses are created equal. Other things to look for are lenses large enough to completely cover the eye and prevent as much light as possible from entering through the edges of the glasses. Not all contact lenses offer UV protection, and in fact most do not. Of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. ACUVUE Brand contact lenses offer either Class 1 or Class 2 UV-blocking. ACUVUE also offers contact lenses such as ACUVUE OASYS contact lenses and 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye contact lenses with the highest level of UV blocking available, blocking more than 90 percent of UVA rays and 99 percent of UVB rays that reach the lens.
1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST contact lenses block, on average, 82 percent of UVA and 97 percent of UVB rays. Some other soft contact lenses and many rigid gas-permeable lenses also offer Class 2 UV-blocking. Although UV-blocking contact lenses are beneficial in helping to protect against harmful UV rays, clinical studies have not been done to show they reduce the risk of any specific eye disease or condition.