There is more to contact lenses than just adding a dash of color to your eyes. Contact lenses, though more popularly used for fashion and for enhancing eye appearance can also protect your eyes.
There are lots of types of contact lenses – from graded ones to those that only offer colors and striking patterns. However, most contact lenses these days are manufacture with certain UV protecting properties. One might think there isn’t really much to the UV protecting properties brought about by contact lenses but think again! You contact lenses might just save you from the damaging and ill effects of the sun’s harsh rays.
Leaving your eyes naked and completely exposed to the sun’s rays can cause photokeratitis. Photokeratitis, which is also known as “flash burns”, is a painful eye condition. It occurs mainly because of unprotected eyes being exposed to ultraviolet rays which can be natural, like those from the sun or artificial, like those from tanning beds. Common symptoms of photokeratitis include intense tears, pain, discomfort from bright light, constricted pupils and eyelid twitching. This eye condition results in a sunburn of the eye’s cornea and conjunctiva although the sunburn will go unnoticed until hours after being exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays.
Another eye condition that may be developed due to harmful ultraviolet rays is eye cataract. Eye cataract is defined as a clouding of the lens inside the eye. The clouding then leads to a decrease in vision and at times, may even lead to complete blindness. There are several causes for eye cataract but one of the most notable causes is exposure to ultraviolet rays. Specifically, exposure to UV-B greatly heightens the risk for developing an eye cataract. Although there have been no proven ways to stop the occurrence of eye cataract, there are several ways to somehow lessen one’s risk of developing the eye condition. One way is to sport eyewear with UV-B protecting properties such as contact lenses and sunglasses or shades. Doing so will reportedly retard and lessen the risk of developing eye cataract.
Exposure to UV rays may also cause pinguecula which is a conjunctival degeneration in the eye. It presents itself as a white-yellowish deposit on the conjunctiva and is associated with UV exposure. An almost similar eye condition called pterygium, otherwise known as “surfer’s eye” is also thought to be caused by ultraviolet light exposure from the sun. Like pinguecula, pterygium is also a benign growth in the conjunctiva.