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Ultra Violet (UV) absorptive lenses


UV absorptive lenses have become common place today. Many lens materials claim to have inherent levels of UV absorption. Other lens materials are treated with dyes and coatings that improve their ability to absorb UV. The general conclusion is that there is legitimate concern that excessive exposure (intensity, frequency, or duration) to UV radiation can be injurious to the human eye. At the very least, limited protection from UV can improve visual comfort in high UV environments such as snow and beach.


The correct measurement of UV radiation is complicated; and reliable measuring equipment is prohibitively expensive for the average laboratory or dispenser. UV measurement is best left up to lens and dye manufacturers who must stand behind their published claims.


The UV radiation of concern to lens providers is UVA and UVB. Of the two, UVB has the greatest potential to damage the eye. With the exception of clear crown glass (Transmittance 30% UVB), today’s common lens materials block all UVB radiation.