With the dangers of harmful UV rays lurking year long round, UV protection is a concern more than ever. Although harmful ultraviolet rays can damage the skin, these rays can also have negative effects on the eyes. Eye health is important to maintain as daily outdoor activities leave the eye vulnerable due to direct exposure to the sun’s rays.
Contact companies have become more aware of this issue and companies like Hubble offer UV-protection contact lenses. The goal of this guide is to help you find the best UV-Block Contact lenses for you.
UV light stands for Ultraviolet light. On the light spectrum, violet is the shortest wavelength of visible light – however, ultraviolet light has even shorter wavelengths. The three types of UV radiation are UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-C rays are absorbed by the ozone layer marking them harmless. Conversely, UV-A and UV-B rays cause permanent impairment to the eyes and can damage vision.
UV light in moderation and with proper care can actually improve health. When skin is exposed to UV light, Vitamin D is developed and helpful in fighting diseases such as depression. UV light is important to fight the lack of Vitamin D and is therefore necessary to maintain good health.
However, exposure to sunlight in long durations can damage the skin. UV-A and UV-B rays can burn the skin and increase the production of melanin. These UV rays can damage the eye in similar ways. Photokeratitis is a condition where the eyes are “sunburnt,” causing agonizing and uncomfortable symptoms for a short period of time. Albeit short lengths of time may cause temporary symptoms, longer durations of exposure can lead to permanent damage such as macular degeneration and cataracts just to name a few.
To help combat this issue, contact lens manufacturers developed contact lens with UV protection. Sunglasses may protect the eyes somewhat from harmful rays, but they are not 100% effective in blocking these rays as light may enter from above, below, and through sides of sunglasses. To help you ensure your contacts not only guarantee clear vision, these improved contacts also have an added benefit to maintain and prolong the health of your eyes.
The American Optometric Association classifies lenses by specific criteria as Class I or Class II blockers that ensure that lenses block a certain percentage of UV rays. These lenses are not substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear, but an additional layer of protection. Contact lens with UV protection are perfect for those who have an active lifestyle and more specifically, anyone spending time outdoors.
UV ray damage can happen all year round and, contrary to popular belief, even on cloudy days. UV rays can reflect off snow, water, and even sand. Regularly wearing contact lenses with UV protection is one of the best ways to combat damage regardless of time and place.
When choosing between contacts with UV protection, you have quite a few options. Although UV protective contact lens may seem like an expensive investment, newcomers in the contact markets are driving costs down.
Hubble is the new kid in town with a fresh approach to contacts. All Hubble contacts are made from high-grade methafilcon A hydrogel material that allow breathable all-day wear. Not only do these thin edged contacts have a 55% water content, they also include UV protection due to its Methafilcon makeup. We recommend Hubble contacts due to their high quality and accessibility at still an affordable price.
Acuvue offers a variety of contact with UV protection that can be separated in two categories: Class 1 UV blocking and Class 2 UV blocking. Acuvue class 1 brand contact lens block 97% of UVB and 81% of UVA Rays. Acuvue Oasys Dailies, 1-Day Acuvue Trueye, and Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism are all strong class 1 choices for people who want UV protection, oxygen, and comfort. Class 2 offers less protection than Class 1 blocking only 70% of UV-A and 95% of UV-B. Although in a lower class, Acuvue Moist offer more options in terms of feel and wearability.
Bausch and Lomb are a trustable brand that upholds quality to their name. Their leading UV block lens are Biotrue One day lenses not only offer UV protection, but also maintain 98% of moisture for 16 hours. Disposable and breathable, these contacts are meant to keep your eyes comfortable as well as protected.
Another traditional contact player, CooperVision, also offers many types of lens with UV protection: ClearSight 1 day, clairiti 1 Day, and MyDay contacts. All these contacts differ in feel and purpose. The only branch of CooperVision contacts that are not UV protected are the Biofinity line.
Acuvue also offers other lenses with UV protection that can be worn for longer than a 24 hours. Acuvue 2-Week Contacts Lenses offers one of the highest levels of UV protection available can can be worn for up to two weeks a pair. They are also available with near or far sighted prescriptions. If you’re looking for a lens that offers even more lengthy wear, Acuvue VITA brand is one of the best monthly options. These lens can be worn up to one month and have a HydraMax Technology that takes the need for rewetting drops and discomfort out of the picture.
Avaira is a two week lens offered by CooperVision that uses Aquaform Technology to ensure your eyes are getting the oxygen they need to stay healthy. These contacts last up to two whole weeks and are offered with near or farsighted adjustments if needed.
While long established brands like Acuvue and CooperVision offer many selections and divisions of UV protection, brands like Hubble allow the same protection at a more affordable price. Like the Acuvue brand, all Hubble contacts have UV-absorbing properties. Acuvue offers the greatest array of choices with the highest level of UV blockage, while Hubble offers one personalized purchase experience, in which all contacts are inherently UV-protective.
UV-Block contacts are not to be used as a substitute for sunglasses or UV-absorbing eyewear such as goggles. They are a powerful secondary barrier of protection against harmful UV radiation to the cornea. Worn in conjunction with UV-protective eyewear, UV-block contacts provide maximum protection and maintenance of eye health.
Just as exposure to ultraviolet light can damage skin, these same rays can also damage eyes. Wearing contacts with UV-block protection shields the lens, cornea, and retina. Although some UV light is acceptable, direct exposure and long durations leave the eye susceptible to damage.
by Insider Envy Staff