How to Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays with Contact Lenses


In recent years, research has revealed how damaging UV rays from the sun and tanning beds can be for our skin. However, this danger extends past the skin and translates into damage to the eyes. For instance, research confirms that enough exposure to UV rays can contribute to the formation of cataracts and other eye diseases, leading to the necessity of surgery, with the dangers of permanent eye damage and even blindness lurking.

At the same time, it can be impossible to avoid sun exposure, and therefore UV protection is highly recommended for the health of your eyes.

UV Protection with Contact Lenses

Recently, wearers of contact lenses were overjoyed to notice the first UV protection contact lenses come onto the market. UV protection contact lenses, such as those offered by companies like Bausch & Lomb and Johnson & Johnson, provide protection in ways sunglasses alone cannot. 

According to Johnson and Johnson, their Acuvue contact lenses protect your eyes against 82% of UV-A rays and 97% of UV-B rays, or more. This is a stark contrast against non-UV contact lenses, which block 10% and 30% of UV-A and UV-B radiation respectively.

A Dual Plan for Protection

However, it is important to keep in mind that although UV contact lenses do provide increased protection against UV rays, it is not sufficient when worn alone. If you simply wear UV contact lenses, studies show that they are 10% less effective than sunglasses.

Another aspect often overlooked is the fact that UV rays can damage more of the eye tissue than that covered by contact lenses. The white part of the eye, for example, is left unprotected by these lenses.

For this reason and others, doctors recommend a policy of wearing both sunglasses and the contact lenses when possible, guarding against all possible exposure to UV rays, and keeping your eyes safe against the threat. Wearing UV contact lenses protects your eye against the sun’s harmful rays, but it is important to achieve full UV protection with sunglasses.

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