May 31, 2012 at 09:24AM
Wearing contact lenses which block harmful UV rays from entering the eyes can help to prevent them from aging.
This is according to a new study carried out by Johnson & Johnson, which was presented to delegates attending the British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference.
By protecting the eyes from UV rays the macular pigment density is maintained and research which had been completed previously found that macular degeneration can lead to the aging of eyes.
In time this can lead to vision loss and is particularly prevalent in the over-55s, meaning that simply choosing lenses with UV protection could improve quality of life in later years.
The study was carried out over a period of five years, taking a number of different age ranges into consideration.
Further to this the subjects were matched in terms of gender, race, lifestyle and body mass index in order to make sure that it was UV exposure which was measured.
Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham and lead author of the study, said: "This preliminary data suggests that wearing UV-blocking contact lenses could play a contributory role in maintaining the eye's macular pigment density which, in turn, may play a role in helping to delay the development of macular degeneration."
Contact lens wearers are reminded that purchasing lenses with UV protection should not substitute wearing sunglasses when needed.
Getting lenses with the protection integrated could help to delay the aging process in the eyes however, and maintain eyesight for longer.
Professor Wolffsohn said: "Additional clinical studies are needed to further evaluate the effects seen in this preliminary research."
There are a number of lenses available which have UV protection built into them, which is particularly important as the summer starts to set in.
These include Avaira contact lenses, which are a monthly option and with 46 per cent water content will keep the eyes hydrated throughout the warmer months.
Posted by John Hughes