UV radiation is always present. All year round, all day, in winter and summer, in sunny and even overcast conditions. Prolonged UV exposure poses some serious health risks.
Most of us know that UV rays can damage the skin, but many are unaware that UV exposure can also be harmful to the eyes and surrounding tissue.
Photograph taken with a normal camera.
Photograph taken with a UV camera, showing skin damage due to UV exposure.
To protect our skin, we typically wear sunscreen, but we really don't have a lot of options when it comes to protecting our eyes against harmful UV rays. While sunglasses provide excellent protection, studies show that only one person in four consistently wears sunglasses when outdoors. And most clear lenses only offer partial UV protection.
We have elevated the standard of care by offering sunglass-level UV protection in all clear ZEISS lenses. That's full UV protection up to 400nm, the level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and provided in premium sunglasses.
All clear ZEISS lenses now provide full protection against UV rays up to 400nm, going well beyond the current industry standard of 380nm. And while the "gap" between 380 and 400 nanometers may not sound like much, it does in fact account for 40% of total solar UV radiation that reaches our eyes and eyelids.
Constant exposure to UV rays is not just harmful to the skin but also to the eyes.
Current lenses that block UV only up to 380 nm or less create a significant gap in protection. The irradiance between 380 and 400 nm is much more intense, and represents up to 40% of the total amount of solar UV irradiance.
While a UV AR coating provides slight protection from UV, it is only from reflections off the back surface of the lens. In fact, up to 95% of UV radiation comes directly through the front of the lens. This means so-called back UV coatings block only a very small portion of UV rays. While a UV AR coating may be helpful to address back-side reflections, it does nothing to block the biggest source of UV rays that come directly through the lens.
ZEISS is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of eyeglass lenses, and is committed to delivering maximum precision and comfort. ZEISS designs and produces lenses, instruments and measurement systems, as well as retail concepts and technology services that continue to raise the bar in vision care.