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Australian launch for Zeiss UVProtect technology

01/07/2018By Matthew Woodley
Zeiss has launched a new type of lens technology in Australia to combat what it says is the current level of insufficient UV protection for eyeglass wearers.

According to Zeiss, the majority of lenses dispensed in Australia and New Zealand leave wearers exposed to high-energy UV radiation, as the current industry standard on clear lenses only offers protection up to 380 nanometres. The company says this leaves a largely unrecognised gap between 380 and 400 nanometres, which is responsible for exposing around 60% of spectacle wearers to as much as 40% of the most harmful UV rays in the spectrum, potentially leading to photoageing, eyelid cancer and cataracts.

“Not only does UVProtect Technology establish a new standard in the eyecare industry, this technology now comes standard in all Zeiss branded plastic lenses.”
Hilke Fitzsimons, Zeiss

However, Zeiss says its new UVProtect Technology is able to bridge this gap by offering protection for wearers up to 400 nanometres.

“This is the first time that sunglass-level UV protection is available in standard clear lenses, giving spectacle wearers complete protection for their eyes and surrounding area,” general manager of Zeiss Australia and New Zealand, Ms Hilke Fitzsimons said.

“Not only does UVProtect Technology establish a new standard in the eyecare industry, this technology now comes standard in all Zeiss branded plastic lenses.”

A survey released by Zeiss in conjunction with the launch showed patients are significantly uninformed about the effects of UV exposure on the eyes, with less than 10% aware that cataracts are a direct side effect of overexposure to UV, and only 13% aware that skin cancer around the eyes is also a potential side effect. The situation is compounded for children, who are exposed to three times more UV than adults, yet according to Zeiss only 32% of parents make their children wear sunglasses.

Despite this, according to the survey 87% of eyeglass wearers would consider purchasing clear lens spectacles with UV protection if provided with such options.

The World Health Organisation recommends 400 nanometres as the standard for UV eye protection – a level that sunglasses are already required to reach – but Zeiss said the clear lens industry had previously been unable to achieve this without compromising lens clarity. However, it claims the new technology can modify clear lens polymers for full UVR protection without altering the look of the lens, while the fact that it is embedded in the lens material means it will last for the life of the lens.

Additionally, while most UV radiation exposure is directly from the front of the lens, there is minor exposure from the sides and back. The company says it has overcome this by integrated back surface UV protection as a standard feature in all is DuraVision coatings – Platinum UV, BlueProtect UV, and Sun UV.

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