Sunglasses and Contact Lenses for UV protection

Throwing Shade is Good for Your Health:

Sunglasses and Contacts for the Summer

It feels more exciting than ever that summertime is finally here! However you plan to spend the season, there are many ways to take care of your eyes while you make the most of your summer.

Sunglasses

With summer comes longer days, warmer weather, and many hours spent in the sun. Just as we protect our skin by applying sunscreen, it’s important to protect our eyes by wearing sunglasses! The sun is a major source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and too much of it can be dangerous for our eyes in several ways. Every exposure to UV light without wearing eye protection increases your risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and even certain types of eye cancer.1 It’s also possible to get a sunburn on your eyes (photokeratitis) which is caused by UV reflections off horizontal surfaces, such as water or snow.1 Those who spend many unprotected hours outside, especially near bodies of water, can also get growths on their eyes (pterygium).1 Simply wearing sunglasses can help prevent all these eye diseases.
The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B radiation.1 Some additional ways to get even more protection from your sunglasses is to select a wrapped frame, a frame with a large lens size, or pairing your sunglasses with a hat. While it is the most important, UV protection isn’t the only thing your sunglasses can do for you! If you have a favourite sport or outdoor summer activity, sunglasses may help to optimize your vision for it. Polarized lenses tend to be best for those who enjoy water sports and fishing, because they cut glare off horizontal surfaces.2 Certain lens tints can amplify colours and contrast, which can be important for golf and field sports.3 Of course, sunglasses are also a great way to complete any summer look. With so many fun and unique frames at Insight, it might be hard to pick just one!
lool Dhurius

Contact Lenses

A great option for those with active lifestyles, or for those who simply wish to be free from glasses this summer, is contact lenses. There are many different types of contact lenses, with a variety of options for different lifestyles, budgets, and visual demands. One of the most popular types of contact lenses is daily disposable lenses – a fresh pair of lenses every time! This eliminates the need for cleaning/storage solutions and makes for a much simpler lens replacement schedule compared to bi-weekly or monthly lenses. Daily disposable lenses are more convenient, tend to be more comfortable, and have a lower risk for contact lens-related complications and serious infections.4,5 They are also ideal for part time wear, such as for sports or special events.

Ask your optometrist if contact lenses are an option for you, based on your prescription, ocular health, and visual goals.

Mother and child at sunset without sunglasses

Caring for your children’s eyes

After many months of online school, distancing from friends, and missing out on after-school activities, kids truly deserve a fun-filled summer. One of the best things you can encourage your child to do right now is to take a break from their screens. Too much screen time – especially on screens that they hold up close – can cause eye strain, dry eyes, and may increase the risk of developing near-sightedness (myopia).6,7 Another good thing to encourage is lots of outdoor playtime. Spending at least two hours per day outside has been shown to help prevent the development of myopia.8 Just don’t forget about sunglasses – children’s eyes can’t block UV radiation as well as adult eyes can, so sun protection is important to reduce the risk of eye diseases later in life!9 Above all, getting annual eye exams for your children is the best way to care for their eyes. Your optometrist can check whether glasses are needed for your child, how well their eyes are working together as a team, the health of their eyes, and so much more.

Resources

1. American Academy of Ophthalmology. (June 11, 2020). The Sun, UV Light, and Your Eyes.
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/sun

2. American Academy of Ophthalmology. (July 9, 2021). What Are Polarized Lenses For?
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/polarized-lenses

3. All About Vision (February 2019). Your Guide to Sport Sunglass Lens Tints.
https://www.allaboutvision.com/sportsvision/lens-tints-chart.htm

4. Stapleton, F., Keay, L., Edwards, K., Naduvilath, T., Dart, J. K., Brian, G., & Holden, B. A. (2008).
The incidence of contact lens–related microbial keratitis in Australia. Ophthalmology, 115(10),
1655-1662.

5. Chalmers, R. L., Keay, L., McNally, J., & Kern, J. (2012). Multicenter case-control study of the
role of lens materials and care products on the development of corneal infiltrates. Optometry
and vision science, 89(3), 316-325.

6. American Academy of Ophthalmology. (June 17, 2021). Screen Use for Kids.
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/screen-use-kids

7. Lanca, C., & Saw, S. M. (2020). The association between digital screen time and myopia: A
systematic review. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 40(2), 216-229.

8. Xiong, S., Sankaridurg, P., Naduvilath, T., Zang, J., Zou, H., Zhu, J., … & Xu, X. (2017). Time
spent in outdoor activities in relation to myopia prevention and control: a meta‐analysis and
systematic review. Acta ophthalmologica, 95(6), 551-566.

9. Canadian Association of Optometrists. Children and Risks associated with Sun Exposure.
https://opto.ca/health-library/children-and-risks-associated-with-sun-exposure

Ontario Association of Optometrists announce job action for September 1, 2021

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