Can Contact Lenses Protect Your Eyes Against UV Radiation?

People usually wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the harmful effect of the sun. However, most sunglasses allow peripheral ultraviolet radiation to get into the eyes from above, below and the side. What many are unaware of is that some contact lenses absorb UV from all directions.

Here’s what you need to know about UV-absorbing contact lenses.

Contact Lenses & UV Absorption

UV rays that pass through the pupil of the eye are usually absorbed by the lens of the eye. Over time, the harmful effects of UV can result in cataracts. Solar radiation reaches every side of the eye and the cornea concentrates it to the tissues on the opposite side of the eye. Years of peripheral UV radiation can lead to nasal or inferonasal cataracts and tissue elevations on the pingueculae and pterygia.

There are contact lenses that absorb most peripheral UV radiation. They are usually recommended for people wearing sunglasses under high sun exposure environments. Consult your eye doctor for eyewear that’s suitable for your activities and vision needs.

Classifications of UV-Absorbing Contacts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set standards for UV-absorbing contact lenses based on the American National Standards Institute Z.80.20 standards.

FDA Class 1 absorber is recommended for high exposure environments like mountains and beaches. They should absorb more than 90 percent of UVB and 99 percent of UVB. Moreover, FDA Class 2 absorber is for general use. They must absorb more than 50 percent of UVA and 95 percent of UVB.

Visit your eye doctor regularly for an eye exam to preserve your vision and catch early signs of eye problems. You can rely on Northview Eye Care to care for your eyes and vision. Call us at (616) 202-1095 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Northview, MI.

Category: optometry