The findings were presented at a series of nine seminars entitled “Blood, Sweat, and No More Tears” hosted for 350 optometrists from Australia and New Zealand by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.
The study’s lead-author Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences at Aston University said existing research suggests a higher level of macular pigment appears to have a protective effect against age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of severe vision loss for people over the age of 55. “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,” he said.
However, he cautioned, UV-absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. “Eye care professionals need to continually reinforce the importance of wearing UV-blocking contact lenses in conjunction with high-quality UV blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat for maximum protection,” said Professor Wolffsohhn.