We are quickly approaching the year 2020, which will undoubtedly be an exciting year in the world of eye care! With the next decade just around the corner, I challenge you to consider your eye health as an integral component to, and a reflection of, your overall wellness.
The most basic holistic eye care plan should include; an annual eye health examination, glasses that include lenses with quality blue light and antireflective coatings and polarized sunglasses. Exercise and a balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables is very important. When it comes to eye health factors that we have control over, UV protection should be at the top of your list! Summer is approaching, and May is #HealthyVisionMonth. There is not a better time than present to discuss the importance of UV protection from the threatening Southern California UV rays that we get here in Mission Viejo and Orange County. If you take one important recommendation away from this blog, remember to, wear your sunglasses, wear your sunglasses, wear your sunglasses! Alright, now that we have that covered, let’s take a closer look at what exactly UV rays are and why UV protection is so important.
Ultraviolet light, also known as UV, is a form of radiation which is not visible to the human eye. It’s in an invisible part of the “electromagnetic spectrum”. Sunlight is the main source of UV rays. Even though UV rays make up only a very small portion of the sun’s rays, they are the main cause of the sun’s damaging effects on the eyes and skin. Molecules which are present in the cells and tissues of the eye, absorb UV light from the atmosphere. Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to serious diseases of the eye, including damage to the retina. The longer the exposure to harmful UV rays, the greater the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. The damage, although already irreversible, most likely won’t present itself until many years later.
Those of you who have recently been in recently for an appointment know that I always recommend eyewear with UV protection in the form of quality sunglasses and/or contact lenses in order to protect your eyes and maintain healthy vision. The exciting aspect about sunglasses is that aside from being important from a health standpoint, they are also a fashionable and personalized accessory. They are a reflection of you and your personal brand! You can “make a statement” if you so choose, complete a fashion “look”, or decide to “keep it simple”. Our Team at Optometry at The Shops™ will ask you about your lifestyle and can help by make personalized recommendations! The amount of UV protection sunglasses provide is unrelated to the color and darkness of the lenses. For example, a light amber-colored lens can provide the same UV protection as a dark gray lens. Our Opticians can verify that the lenses you choose provide 100% UV protection. Have some fun choosing from our large selection of world class fashion designer brands, the likes of TomFord®, Prada®, Tiffany®, Ray-Ban®, MauiJim®, CalvinKlein®, Chloe® and Michael Kors®.
When it comes to protecting your eyes from UV, there is an exciting new product on the market for contact lens wearers that is now available at Optometry at The Shops™. I’d like to tell you about! Acuvue Oasys®, a leading contact lens manufacturer, has come out with a contact lens that darkens when exposed to sunlight. Acuvue Oasys Transitions®, “The Contact Lens That Knows Light™,” is a 2 week disposable contact lens that is “the first-of-its-kind”. It is a contact lens that seamlessly adapts to changing light to provide all-day soothing vision. Previously, this technology has only been available with eyeglasses. It was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2018. Bryce Harper, a professional baseball player with the Philadelphia Phillies, describes using the Acuvue Transitions® contact lenses: “The sunlight and the lights of the stadium would really interfere with my eyes a little bit and make me squint a little bit harder or not be able to look in the light as long. So, being able to have a lens which transitions into a darker lens for me has been huge…..(That) split-second of making contact or striking out, or misreading a ball, it can definitely help me in that circumstance, as well*.”
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to enjoy the benefits of these new contacts lenses. They can help anyone with light sensitivity, help to minimize squinting, provide protection from UV outdoors and from blue light indoors. Blue light sits just to the right of UV on the light spectrum. It is emitted from electronic devices and among other health concerns, its exposure can strain your eyes. Blue light can also prevent you from getting a quality nights rest by disrupting your sleep cycle. For more information about Blue Light, please read my previous blog: https://www.optometryattheshops.com/blue-light/
If you are interested in learning more about whether this new lens technology is right for you, please ask me during your next exam, give us a call, or just stop by Optometry at The Shops™
I hope you and your family have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Diana Ciobanu O.D.