Ultraviolet light can damage your eyes. It accelerates the degradation of the lens, cornea and retina. Fortunately, modern eyeglasses have special coatings that protect the eyes from UV light. UV protection is especially important for outdoor workers and young children.
Some contact lenses offer UV protection, but is it enough to keep your eyes safe from the harmful effects of UV radiation? Continue reading to find out.
Why Is UV Protection Important?
Long-term exposure to UV light can lead to eye conditions and diseases. UV light can enter the eye from various directions, not just from the front. It can penetrate from above, below and on the sides. That’s why every optometrist still recommends wearing UV-blocking sunglasses or wrap-around eyewear on top of UV-blocking contact lenses.
How Do UV-Protective Contact Lenses Work?
Contact lenses provide varying levels of UV protection. FDA Class 1 contact lenses can absorb up to 90% of UVA and 99% of UVB light. These are recommended if you will be in a high-exposure environment, such as beaches or mountains.
FDA Class 2 contact lenses can absorb about 50% of UVA and 95% of UVB. These contact lenses are considered general-purpose contacts with UV-blocking properties. They’re good for everyday use if you stay mostly at home or in an office.
Effectively Protecting Your Eyes From UV light
Wearing contact lenses might not be enough to protect your eyes against UV radiation. Wrap-around sunglasses are the best choice to ensure your eyes are protected from all angles. But for everyday use, a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses would be fine. To ensure you’re making the right choice, see an eye doctor and ask for his or her recommendation based on your activities.
If you need a reliable eye doctor, look no further than Joel H. McGahen OD. Call (717) 264-4012 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Chambersburg, PA, and nearby areas.