New Tinted Contact Lenses for Sun Protection

There are new contact lenses that are made to be worn only in the sun, only for a month, only by athletes.

Nike's $20 tinted MaxSight Sport-Tinted Contact Lenses, which go on sale next month, are the latest entry in this $104.7 billion market. They are targeting athletes in sports such as golf, tennis and soccer who have been reluctant to use sunglasses because of fogging, scratching or the simple annoyance of wearing eyeglasses.

The lenses require a prescription and fitting by an eye doctor, even for those with 20/20 vision. About half of the athletes who have worn the lenses have never worn corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses before, the company says.

"Once I tried them on, they were something special," said Taylor Twellman, a forward with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer. "It was a sunny day, so I really got to see the full effect of what it does to the sun and how it completely takes it out of the whole picture."

Because of its ability to filter light, to allow wearers to focus on fast-moving objects with clarity rarely before seen, the MaxSight lens is in the picture. The lenses are discussed in locker rooms and talked about among athletes away from the field.
Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has become the lenses' unofficial endorser, wearing them periodically for day games during a breakthrough season.

In four previous major-league seasons, Roberts never had hit better than .273 or more than five home runs. Through Thursday, he was batting .341 with 15 homers, the career-high average and power spurred by a torrid stretch in the early months when he first spoke of the MaxSights. He called them "awesome."

Maybe it is a stretch to attribute improved hitting to the sunglasses, but they should prove to have an impact on professional sports.

The lenses require a prescription and fitting by an eye doctor, even for those with 20/20 vision. About half of the athletes who have worn the lenses have never worn corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses before, the company says.

The tinted lenses aren't recommended for use at night or while driving. They may also irritate the eyes of those who have never worn contacts before.

 

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