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UV-Blocking Contact Lenses: How They Work & Do You Need Them?

  • 19 Nov 2021
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We all know about the importance of protecting ourselves from ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially in Singapore’s scorching, sunny climate. Many people might apply sunscreen to their face and body, wearing hats and using umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. But what about UV protection for your eyes?

The Danger of UV Exposure to Your Eyes

There are two main types of UV rays that can affect us — UVA and UVB. You might know of them as the causes of sunburns and skin cancer, but these rays can also penetrate our eyes and lead to serious health problems.

UVB rays are known to cause photokeratitis, which is the inflammation of the cornea. Think of it as a sunburn on your eye’s surface. Meanwhile, UVA rays, which can penetrate deeper than UVB, can lead to more severe issues such as cataracts, macular degeneration, pytogerium (abnormal growth of tissue over the cornea, also known as surfer’s eye) and potentially even eye cancer.

Eye protection against UV exposure is commonly overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be. Over time, the more your eyes are exposed to harmful UV radiation, the greater risk of developing permanent damage. Sure, you can reach for a pair of sunglasses, but UV-blocking contact lenses are a great choice.

How UV-Blocking Contact Lenses Work

UV-blocking contact lenses contain a special UV-blocking ingredient that is incorporated into the lens material. Take Clearlab's Clear 55A™ UV monthly lenses, for example — they are made of a polymer that contains a UV-absorbing compound and tinted for better visibility in the harsh Singapore sunlight. These lenses are classified as ‘Class 2’, which means they effectively block 70% of UVA and 95% of UVB rays.

In addition, studies have shown that UV-blocking contact lenses help maintain the eye’s macular pigment density, offering a protective effect against age-related macular degeneration.

With all that in mind, are UV-blocking contact lenses suitable for you?

Reasons to Get UV-Blocking Lenses

1. If you live an active lifestyle

Participate in lots of outdoor sports? Constantly on-the-go? Give yourself peace of mind as you go about your daily activities, knowing that your eyes have a constant layer of protection with UV-blocking contact lenses.

2. If you work outdoors or around artificial UV radiation

If you need to spend the bulk of your workday in an outdoor environment, you might want to consider UV-blocking contact lenses.

The sun is a natural source of UV, but there are several artificial sources of UV rays. Examples include tanning beds, black lights, lasers, curing lamps and specific halogen, fluorescent and incandescent lights. Exposure to such sources requires proper eye protection, but it can never hurt to take extra precautions. Do take note that UV-absorbing contact lenses shouldn’t be used as a direct substitute for protective eyewear if required.

3. If you don't like wearing sunglasses

Naturally, wearing contact lenses is more comfortable and freeing than wearing sunglasses. However, wearing both UV contact lenses and sunglasses is still recommended, especially if you’re under harsh sunlight!

4. If you simply want to protect your eyes against damage

The truth is, you don’t need any particular reason to opt for UV-blocking contact lenses. They are a proactive, preventative method of caring for your eye health. The earlier you take steps to protect your eyes, the longer you’ll enjoy clear vision and healthy eyes!

Ready to make the switch to UV-blocking lenses? Explore Clearlab’s online selection of specially designed UV-blocking monthly contact lenses in Singapore today.

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