One Mom's Moxie: Having Fun In The Sun & Protecting Your Eyes

Friday, June 13, 2014

Having Fun In The Sun & Protecting Your Eyes

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.

The summer months are here which means more time being spent outside. I know all my kids love being outside whether they are swimming, riding bikes or having a water balloon fight, so this means applying lots of sunscreen to keep them safe from the suns harmful UV rays. I know that using sunscreen on my kids was necessary but what was protecting their eyes? As much as all my kids play outside, I never gave much thought to what was keeping their precious eyes safe from the UV rays.

Do you know the times of day when the sun is most damaging to eyes? It’s not what you think – research suggests that from Spring through Fall, when the days get longer, the incidence of eye exposure to UV rays is actually greatest earlier and later in the day. Did you know that while direct sunlight can be extremely harmful to the eyes, reflected UV rays (i.e., from water, grass, sand) can be even more harmful?

Take a look at the valuable information and how you can protect your children's eyes.

The Sun, Your Eyes & What You Should Know:

  • CUMULATIVE DAMAGE: Experts say it is difficult to isolate the exact amount of damage that Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) imposes on the eye over a long period of time. However, a number of studies have shown that the effects of UV radiation are mostly cumulative and may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life, including cataracts, a leading cause of reduced vision in the United States.
  • IRREVERSIBLE: Short-term damage to the eyes may be hard to notice, but over the long-term, the sun can cause irreversible harm to all structures of the eye and surrounding tissue that are left unprotected or under-protected. These conditions may not manifest for years at which point the damage is already done and it is too late to reverse the effects of the sun. That’s why it is important to start protecting eyes from childhood.
  • CHILDREN, TEENS AT GREATER RISK OF EXPOSURE THAN ADULTS: Younger eyes are more susceptible to exposure to the sun’s harmful rays than adults. Children have larger pupils (allowing more light into their eyes), clearer lenses, and are outside without eye protection much more frequently and for longer periods than most adults. It is estimated that a significant amount of lifetime exposure to UV rays may occur by age 18 and that children’s annual dose of UV radiation is three times that of adults.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE UV EXPOSURE -Although direct light from the sun itself can be damaging to eyes, reflected ultraviolet (UV) rays from surfaces such as grass, soil, dry sand, water, and snow can also be harmful.  UV protection also is important on a cloudy day as the sun's rays can pass through thin clouds, exposing your eyes to harmful UV radiation
  • SUNGLASSES ALONE SOMETIMES ARE NOT ENOUGH:While most sunglasses can help block UV rays from entering through the lenses, most frame styles do not prevent rays from reaching the eyes from the sides, top, and bottom of the glasses. Hats with brims offer no protection from UV rays reflected up from ground surfaces such as pavement, sand, and water.
  • UV BLOCKING CONTACT LENSES can provide an important level of additional protection from UV exposure. Not all contact lenses offer UV protection, and, of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. ACUVUE® is the only major brand of contact lenses which blocks approximately 97%of UV-B and 81% of UV-A rays as standard across the entire range of its products.*
  • ACHIEVING A COMPREHENSIVE MEASURE OF UV PROTECTION: UV absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for devices like UV-blocking sunglasses as they do not completely cover the eye or the surrounding area. For more comprehensive UV protection, UV-blocking contact lenses should be worn as an added layer of protection in conjunction with high-quality UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.

After reading this information I decided that there are some changes that need to happen to help protect my children's eyes. My son already wears Acuvue contacts but I will make sure that he knows just how important it is that he continue wearing the Acuvue brand even into adulthood. There is some more great information that you should know, just visit “Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know” on the ACUVUE® Brand website.

*Although UV-blocking contact lenses are beneficial in helping to protect against harmful UV rays entering into the eye, long-term clinical studies have not been done to show that they directly reduce the risk of any specific eye disease or condition.

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