The sun’s UV rays aren’t only damaging to your skin; they can be harmful to your eyes as well. That is why your optometrist often recommends you to wear sunglasses in sunny settings or limit the exposure of your eyes to direct sunlight. If you’re a contact lens wearer, you may also benefit from the UV protection of certain types of contacts. Read on to know more about contact lenses and UV protection.
Contact Lenses Vs. UV Radiation
As you already know, contact lenses are fitted directly on your eyes, so they can offer protection against UV rays that are coming from various directions. However, not all contacts have high capacity for absorbing UV radiation. For example, FDA Class 2 contact lenses can absorb over 50% of UVA and 95% of UVB. These lenses are usually recommended as general-purpose contacts with UV absorption properties. If you will be in a high-exposure environment such as mountains and beaches, it would be best to opt for FDA Class 1 contact lenses. Contacts in this category can absorb more than 90% of UVA and 99% of UVB.
Additional Tips for Protecting Your Eyes
If you want to make sure you’re making the right choice, don’t hesitate to ask your optometrist. Apart from giving you a professional recommendation on the type of contacts to wear for certain activities or environments, they can also offer advice on how you can ensure adequate UV protection for your eyes.
Wearing contacts alone may not be enough to keep your eyes protected against UV radiation. In many cases, sunglasses can offer the extra UV protection you need. Eye care specialists generally recommend wearing sunglasses especially during early morning or late afternoon. If you will be doing sports or an outdoor activity, wrap-around sunglasses might be the best option for you. With this type of sunglasses, UV radiation won’t be able to reach your eyes from above, below, or the sides.
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