UV-blocking contact lenses can protect eyes from sun damage

UV-blocking contact lenses can protect eyes from sun damage
Washington: UV-blocking contact lenses can reduce or eliminate the effects of the sun``s harmful UV radiation, according to a new study.Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to harmful changes in the cornea, conjunctiva and lens, including cataracts, the most common cause of visual impairment around the globe.

"Unfortunately, people are generally unaware of when their eyes are at greatest risk for damage from UV exposure," said vision researcher Heather Chandler, from Ohio State University``s College of Optometry.

"This research involving UV-absorbing contact lenses can provide another option for protection against the detrimental changes caused by UV," Chandler added,
For the study, researchers exposed rabbits daily to the equivalent of about 16 hours of exposure to sunlight in humans — enough to induce UV-associated corneal changes.

The rabbits that wore UV-absorbing contact lenses (Senofilcon A) were not affected by the UV exposure.

Chandler said wearing sunglasses or hats may not provide enough protection from the sun, and adding adequate UV protection to contact lenses may be a practical solution to the problems caused by too much exposure.

She also said that since this study focused exclusively on acute UV exposure, further long-term studies are needed to determine the efficiency of wearing the UV-absorbing contacts over a longer time period.

The study has been reported in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.