**I wrote this review while participating in an Influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for participating.**
In the summer, we spend a lot of time outdoors. When we pack our bags for the beach or a vacation, we make sure to include the sun block. We put on the hat and our sunglasses and head outside, feeling confident we’re taking the proper precautions. We want to protect our skin and not get a sun burn, right? Of course, but did you know that those sunglasses may not be adequately protecting your eyes?
UV rays – we know that they can get through clouds and thin material and burn your skin, and they reflect off of surfaces back onto us. That’s why it’s important to protect our entire body, yet what those UV rays can do to our eyes often gets overlooked. Experts say that while it’s difficult to isolate the exact amount of damage that UV radiation imposes on your eyes over a long period of time, but studies have shown that the effects are cumulative and may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life. You may not even know it until it’s too late, but it can be irreversible. Why risk that, especially on our childrens’ young eyes, when there are things you can do to help prevent it?
Childrens and teens eyes are at greater risk for this type of damage. They have larger pupils than adults and they typically wear sunglasses as much as adults. It’s estimated that a significant of our lifetime exposure to UV rays happens by the time we’re 18!
Sunglasses are great but even a really quality pair typically allows rays in around the edges and reflected light up through the bottom. A hat can help provide a little more help, but what else can you do to protect your eye health?
This is where you have an additional layer of protection if you wear contact lenses!
Three out of my four kids have vision problems. It doesn’t surprise me, as both my husband and I do, so we want to help prevent any worsening of eye health. I wear contacts and two of my kids do as well, with #3 coming up very soon. Luckily, we wear Acuvue lenses, and we didn’t know until just recently that Acuvue is the only major brand of contact lenses which block approximately 97% of UV-B and 81% of UV-A rays as standard across the entire range of its products.
Although these types of lenses are beneficial in helping to protect against those UV rays entering the eye, long-term clinical studies haven’t been done yet to show if they directly reduce the risk of any specific eye issue. Even so, if I can protect those UV rays in any fashion, I’m glad to know the option is there. UV absorbing lenses aren’t substitute for UV-blocking sunglasses as they, like sunglasses, leave a portion of your eye uncovered, but if you wear those lenses with a pair of non-prescription UV-blocking sunglasses, and a hat, you’re pretty close to doing all you can to keep your eyes safe and minimize eye injury.
I have to admit that learning that Acuvue lenses have this blocking potential made me really think about our approach to protection in the summer – and I learned that from Spring through Fall, I need to remain diligent, as longer days mean the incidence of UV ray exposure is more common earlier and later in the day. So basically, we need to talk to our kids about protecting their eyes 365 days a year. As a parent, this actually is easier as it helps me to instill this into our daily routine, making a habit of it rather than something they have to remember just during the summer.
So far this summer, we’ve already gone to a water park, sporting events, amusement parks and we’ve played, picnicked and sat outside. At our water park visit, it was hard to protect our eyes the entire time as glasses don’t work on high-speed water rides or when waterfalls are knocking things off your face and park rules prohibit the possibility of any flying objects. Acuvue contact lenses were at least one thing we could still do, without doing anything different! We were spending so much time in line, standing on concrete, which reflects light; we also spent a lot of time on the lazy river, another area of high reflection. We did double-duty there, with the sunglasses and contacts, so not only were we comfortable but we were minimizing those rays damaging our eyes.
Typically, when we go out, we’re pretty organized: suits, towels, sun block, umbrellas, food, beverages, books, music, and more food. Pretty typical list for most families, but now we’re making a more concerted effort to utilize my son’s huge collection of hats and reminding each other to have their non-prescription sunglasses along for the ride. You don’t need to spend three-digits for sunglasses that both look good and offer the adequate level of protection. Kids lose things, step on things and lend things out so spending a lot of money isn’t necessary provided you’re reading labels and being sure they aren’t just decorative lenses but functional.
Want to know more, especially what type of sunglasses to buy? Visit Acuvue’s page, Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know.
Read the article for ways to protect your eyes, maintain good eye health and incorporate those good habits into your daily routine as early in your childrens’ lives as possible. They will become normal for them as they grow up, and you will have one less thing to worry about. Being a parent is already stressful enough as it is! Protect your skin and your eyes and enjoy your summer!