Many people may not realize that they should protect their eyes from UV radiation when they play outdoors under fierce sunlight. Excessive exposure to UV rays can cause discomfort and damage. Premature degeneration of the cornea may occur if a child suffers too much UV exposure. Eye conditions later in life such as age-related cataracts, blurry vision and even blindness are also possible results of UV exposure in early ages.
Most people considering UV protection choose a pair of decent sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. However, there are still available contact lenses with built-in UV protection, which are more advanced and convenient. Galyfilcon A was the first material which incorporated a UV-blocking agent and finally received the World Council of Optometry’s global seal of acceptance for UV-protection. This material suits both adults and children.
Statistics reveal that 80% of the UV exposure of a lifetime occurs during the childhood years and teens, so that sunglasses or UV-blocking contact lenses are particularly indispensable for children. What’s more, there are UV rays even in overcast days and children should wear protection eyewear as often as possible.
Currently there are other brands that have included UV-blocking agents in their contact lenses. For example, both Ciba Vision’s Precision UV and Johnson’s Acuvue Advance and Oasys offer the most sophisticated UV protection. A good UV-blocking agent is supposed to filter out 90% of UVA rays and 100% of UVB rays.
Contact lenses with UV protection can only offer protection to the part of the eyes they cover. Meanwhile, sunglasses can not prevent peripheral rays from entering the space behind the lens, although they cover a much wider area of the eyes. In this case, some professionals suggest a double protection that combines UV-blocking contact lenses and sunglasses.
There is still bad news about UV protection. Price and style are given a higher priority over sunglass quality by most Americans, revealed by a recent study conducted by the American Optometrist Association. The study also showed that about half of participants never use sunglasses or contact lenses to fight against UV rays.