Disclosure: 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.
Something you may not know about me… I’ve worn glasses since I was 2 years old. Not just any old glasses, either. Nope, those bad boys were those thick coke bottle glasses and they were round and brown and totally not fun. Of course, I really needed them. My vision was BAD, and not bad as in good. Bad as in BAD.
So bad, in fact, that my “good” eye had to be patched in order to train my bad eye to get stronger. It was to the point I could have lost vision in one eye. I was so far sighted that I could only see out of one eye at a time, and the eye I chose was just a little stronger than the other. So the “bad eye” went unused and grew very weak. I remember my eye having to get patched, and I wore a bandage patch over one eye for what seemed like forever. Once the doctors felt the eye had grown strong enough, the fitted me for glasses and from that day forward, at just two years old, it was little four eyed me.
Unfortunately childhood was unkind to me. I was quiet and shy, and these thick glasses made me even more self conscious. Kids can be mean and I was teased incessantly as a kid. By the time I hit 5th grade, my parents began looking for more options. Since I had such a strong prescription, very few contact lens manufacturers carried my size. ACUVUE® was the one we decided on, and at just a few months shy of my 11th birthday I began wearing contact lenses.
One of the things they ingrained in me, since I was so young, was the importance of eye health and safety. I learned how to clean my lenses, as well as to always wash my hands before handling them and also to never sleep in them. For many years I only wore contact lenses and didn’t even own any prescription glasses, I hated them that much!
When I had my daughter, I knew that my own issues with my eyesight could be passed down to her, and sure enough she had to begin wearing glasses at the age of two as well. Thankfully her eyesight is nowhere near as bad as mine, but because I grew up with such problems I make time to teach my kids about eye safety and to get routine eye checkups.
Now that I’m in my thirties, I’m a bit more secure in myself and even own a few different pairs of eyeglasses that I wear daily. But nothing quite matches that feeling that I get when I put on my contact lenses and feel pretty. I still use the same brand, ACUVUE®, and it’s important to me to have a good, dependable brand for my contact lens needs. In addition, 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.*
Why is this important? Well, let’s look at the facts.
The Sun and Your Eyes – What You Need to 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.
- 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.
*Please note that 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.
How do you protect your families eyes from UV rays?
Personally, I still use my ACUVUE® brand contact lenses. They have UV protection built right in, and then I wear a pair of dark sunglasses that also provide an additional layer of UV protection. Often I’ll wear a hat with a brim as well to provide additional protection and I teach my children how to take care of their eyes as well. Thankfully RiRi has outgrown her glasses and for the time being she doesn’t need them, but ever since my kids could sit up by themselves I’ve made sure they have protection from the sun with hats, sunglasses, and sunblock. They won’t even leave the house without some stylish shades and often wear hats for additional help.
For more eye health information you can check out “Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know” on the ACUVUE® Brand website.