How To Protect Your Eyes And Contact Lenses From Sun Damage

How To Protect Your Eyes And Contact Lenses From Sun Damage

As the sun shines brightly during the summer months, it's essential to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. While sunglasses are a popular choice, contact lens wearers must also take extra precautions to safeguard their eyes and lenses from sun damage. Here are some practical tips and strategies to help you enjoy the sunny season while keeping your eyes and contact lenses safe. From choosing the right lenses to adopting good eye health habits, let's dive into the world of sun protection for contact lens wearers.

Can The Sun Damage Your Contact Lenses?

Prolonged exposure to the sun can potentially damage your contact lenses. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun can have adverse effects on both your eyes and your contact lenses. Here are a few ways the sun can damage your contact lenses:

  • Discoloration: Some contact lenses, especially those with lighter tints or special coatings, may be more susceptible to discoloration when exposed to UV rays over time. This discoloration can affect the clarity of your vision and the appearance of the lenses.
  • Degradation: UV radiation can cause the materials that contact lenses are made of to break down or degrade more quickly. This can lead to changes in the lens's structure, making it less durable and potentially causing discomfort or irritation when worn.
  • Dryness: Sun exposure can contribute to dry eyes, which can be particularly problematic for contact lens wearers. Dryness can lead to discomfort, blurry vision, and increased friction between the lenses and your eyes, potentially causing the lenses to move or dislodge.
  • Increased Protein Deposits: The sun's rays can stimulate the production of proteins in your tears, which may then accumulate on the surface of your contact lenses. Protein deposits can compromise the comfort and clarity of your lenses, leading to irritation, blurriness, and an increased risk of infections.

TIps To Protect Your Eyes And Your Contact Lenses

1. Select Contact Lenses with UV Protection
Not all contact lenses provide UV protection, so it's crucial to opt for lenses specifically designed to block harmful ultraviolet rays. UV-blocking contact lenses can shield your eyes from both UVA and UVB rays, reducing the risk of long-term eye damage caused by sun exposure. Consult with your optometrist to determine the most suitable UV-blocking contact lenses for your needs.

2. Wear Sunglasses for Additional Protection
While UV-blocking contact lenses offer some protection, wearing sunglasses is still important. Select sunglasses with 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from direct sunlight. Moreover, sunglasses provide an extra layer of defense, reducing glare and protecting the delicate skin around your eyes.

3. Avoid Peak Sun Hours
When the sun is at its strongest, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the UV rays are most intense. Whenever possible, minimize your outdoor activities during these hours to reduce your exposure to harmful sun rays. If you must be outside, ensure that you have proper eye protection in place, such as UV-blocking contact lenses and sunglasses.

4. Use Lubricating Eye Drops
Extended sun exposure can lead to dry eyes, which can be particularly uncomfortable for contact lens wearers. Consider using lubricating eye drops that are compatible with your contact lenses. These drops can help alleviate dryness and keep your eyes hydrated throughout the day.

5. Proper Contact Lens Care
Maintaining good contact lens hygiene is vital year-round, but it becomes even more critical during the summer. Clean and disinfect your contact lenses regularly using the recommended solution provided by your optometrist or optician. Avoid using tap water or saliva to clean your lenses, as these can introduce harmful bacteria and increase the risk of eye infections.

6. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is not only essential for your overall health but also helps maintain eye hydration. Proper hydration can prevent dry eyes, especially during hot summer days. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.

7. Seek Shade
When the sun is scorching, seek shade whenever possible. Taking breaks in shaded areas can help reduce your eye's exposure to direct sunlight and provide some relief from the heat. It's a simple yet effective way to protect your eyes and prevent unnecessary strain.

Find The Right Contact Lenses This Summer At Specs In The City

Enjoying the summer sun doesn't mean compromising your eye health as a contact lens wearer. By following these tips and adopting good eye care practices, you can safeguard your eyes and contact lenses from sun damage. Remember to select UV-blocking contact lenses, wear sunglasses, avoid peak sun hours, use lubricating eye drops, practice proper contact lens care, stay hydrated, and seek shade when needed. Prioritizing your eye health ensures a comfortable and enjoyable summer season filled with vibrant experiences and clear vision.

If you are interested in exploring your options for contact lenses or if you are experiencing dryness or discomfort due to contact lens wear, book an affordable eye exam with Specs in the City, where our expert optometrists are committed to protecting your vision for a lifetime. Contact us today at 403-252-2020 or through our online contact form.


Q: Can I wear regular contact lenses in the sun?
A: Regular contact lenses do not provide UV protection. It's recommended to wear contact lenses specifically designed with UV-blocking properties to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. Consult with your eye care professional to determine the most suitable contact lenses for sun protection.

Q: Do all sunglasses offer UV protection for contact lens wearers?
A: Not all sunglasses provide adequate UV protection. Look for sunglasses labelled as offering 100% UV protection to ensure your eyes are shielded from the sun's harmful rays. This is important for contact lens wearers as sunglasses provide an extra layer of protection in addition to UV-blocking contact lenses.

Q: How often should I clean my contact lenses during the summer?
A: Follow the cleaning and disinfecting guidelines provided by your eye doctor. Generally, it is recommended to clean and disinfect your contact lenses daily, regardless of the season. Regular cleaning helps remove debris, protein deposits, and potential contaminants that can affect lens performance and eye health.

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