Many eyeglass wearers are fully aware that UV radiation can severely damage their eyes, but quite frequently they do not take adequate measures to protect their vision. There are various reasons for this. A lot of people who wear eyeglasses think that UV protection is only necessary in extremely bright sunlight. And even then, many of them only wear sunglasses some of the time. Or they own sunglasses but never wear them, even though an everyday pair of glasses does not offer sufficient protection. UV radiation is omnipresent – all day long, and even in the shade or when it is cloudy.
Thus ZEISS decided to go one step further, and in the future all ZEISS eyeglass lenses made of plastic – clear and tinted – will feature the same high level of UV Protection that goes beyond the requirements stipulated by the prevailing standards for corrective lenses.
Current industry standards such as ISO 8980-3 stipulate a wavelength of 380 nanometers as the upper limit for UV protection in eyeglass lenses. This means that, up until now, most lenses fall short of fully protecting a person's eye from high-energy UV radiation, which is still extremely potent at wavelengths up to 400 nm in the spectral range and poses a risk to eye health. UV radiation damages and can accelerate aging of the eye, cloud the lens as well as cause a 'sunburn' on the retina or lead to cancer on the eyelids. That is why 100% UV protection is so important.
Around 40% of UV radiation in daylight is between 380 and 400 nanometers. In particular these long UV radiation waves penetrate more deeply into the tissue, making them a potential risk factor for cancer. Five to ten percent of all cases of skin cancer affects the eyelids because they are subjected to UV radiation on an ongoing basis. Lenses with full UV protection can help reduce this risk. UV radiation is a major factor in the development of different eye diseases such as cataract, i.e. a clouding of the lens which, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. But even before a cataract is diagnosed, UV radiation can slowly alter a person's vision, including reduced contrast or color perception.
To better protect the eyes and the tissue right around the eye, the wearer needs eyeglass lenses with UV absorption above 380 nm, and up to 400 nm for comprehensive protection. This also applies to clear eyeglasses lenses. UV protection is not a tint. Rather, it is the result of special filter technologies in the plastic lens material.