How contact lenses can help protect your eyes against UV radiation?
You may be very well aware of how damaging UV radiation can be for our skin and already take preventive measures like applying sunscreen and making sure you are not exposed to sun for longer periods of time.
Did you know that UV radiation can also harm your eyes?
There are 3 types of UV radiation. UV-C gets absorbed by the ozone layer and isn’t that much of a threat. However, UV-A and UV-B can present several negative effects both in the short term and long term.
If you expose your eyes to UV radiation in excess in a very short period of time, you can develop photokeratitis. This is essentially a sunburn that occurs in the eye. Symptoms include pain, redness, gritty feeling in the eye, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.
However, these symptoms are only temporary and normally do not cause any permanent damage to the eyes.
If you expose your eyes to solar radiation for a long period, the risk of developing cataracts is much higher. Your eyes may even go through macular degeneration.
What can you do to protect your eyes from UV radiation?
Doctors recommend you wear sunglasses that block out 99% of UV rays. However, wearing sunglasses may not be an option for you or you may already be wearing contact lenses.
If you are a contact lens wearer, there is good news for you. Contact lenses actually prevent your eyes from getting sunburned.
How does a contact lens help your eyes against UV radiation?
Contact lenses absorb UV radiation by reducing the amount of radiation that can potentially reach the surface of the eye. While sunglasses block these rays, contact lenses work differently. In fact, sunglasses are not foolproof. There is still a chance that UV radiation may penetrate through the top and sides of the sunglasses.
Contact lenses can prevent this from happening as well. Since they cover the entire lens of your eyes, they can protect your eyes from the radiation that comes from above or around the sides of sunglasses.
There are 2 types of contact lenses that block UV radiation:
- Must block 90% of UVA
- Must block 99% of UVB
- 70% of UVA
- 95% of UVB
Should you solely rely on contact lenses?
No. You should wear wrap-style sunglasses along with contact lenses that offer protection against UV radiation.
What kind of contact lenses are right for you?
Talk to your doctor and determine how much sun exposure do you get daily. This will help to determine which type of contact lenses are right for you. Factor in things like your commute, work location, country and outdoor activities that you indulge in.
Are there any colorful lenses that also offer UV protection?