Ultraviolet light has been implicated in many diseases as a cause or at least a contributing factor. Damaging light exposure to the eyes is thought to be cumulative-meaning damaging light that enters a young person’s eyes today may cause problems years down the road. To protect the eyes in potentially high ultraviolet light situations it is recommended to wear clothing like hats that help to shade. Wrap-around sunglasses are also a very good way to protect eyes from the sun. There is another way to protect your eyes if you are a contact lens wearer, wear a contact lens that filters UV. Many contact lens wearers coming to the clinic for contacts this time of year are excited about the prospect of wearing over-the-counter sunglasses with contacts for summertime activities. But sunglasses do not protect perfectly, and then there are those (children) who just don’t want to wear sunglasses. For contact lens wearers, a lens that guards against UV exposure is useful to manage this constant risk from the glowing rays of the sun. It is important to note that UV-absorbing contacts alone cannot prevent all UV related eye problems. Often the UV filtering in contacts is not quite as good as sun lenses and there are parts of the eye that are not covered. But as an extra layer of protection that fits right across the most sensitive parts of the eye, the potential benefits seem clear.

Ultraviolet light has been implicated in many diseases as a cause or at least a contributing factor. Damaging light exposure to the eyes is thought to be cumulative-meaning damaging light that enters a young person’s eyes today may cause problems years down the road.

To protect the eyes in potentially high ultraviolet light situations it is recommended to wear clothing like hats that help to shade. Wrap-around sunglasses are also a very good way to protect eyes from the sun.

There is another way to protect your eyes if you are a contact lens wearer, wear a contact lens that filters UV.

Many contact lens wearers coming to the clinic for contacts this time of year are excited about the prospect of wearing over-the-counter sunglasses with contacts for summertime activities. But sunglasses do not protect perfectly, and then there are those (children) who just don’t want to wear sunglasses.

For contact lens wearers, a lens that guards against UV exposure is useful to manage this constant risk from the glowing rays of the sun. It is important to note that UV-absorbing contacts alone cannot prevent all UV related eye problems. Often the UV filtering in contacts is not quite as good as sun lenses and there are parts of the eye that are not covered. But as an extra layer of protection that fits right across the most sensitive parts of the eye, the potential benefits seem clear.

Dr. Jace Picken is an optometrist at Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton

Dr. Jace PICKEN is an optometrist at Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton

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