Contact Lenses With Ultraviolet Protection May Delay Presbyopia Onset

Young woman holding contact lens on fingertip, close up, studio shot
Contact lenses equipped with ultraviolet radiation blocking filters may also provide protection to the critical limbal region.

Contact lenses equipped with an ultraviolet radiation (UVR) blocking filter may preserve accommodative response and delay presbyopia when worn long-term, according to research published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. 

Researchers enrolled 210 eyes of 210 participants from 5 sites (n=42 per site) who were long-term contact lens wearers (≥5 years of wear) in the study. Among the cohort, 50% of participants wore contact lenses with a UVR blocking filter. The team performed slit lamp evaluation with autofluorescence, measured accommodation via push-up test and overcoming lens-induced defocus, and assessed macular pigment optical density (MPOD) using heterochromatic flicker photometry.

The investigators noted lower limbal conjunctival redness among participants with UVR blocking lenses compared with controls (P =.035), but observed no such association with respect to bulbar redness (P =.903). Accommodative latency was also significantly shorter in the UVR group (P =.003). The UVR group yielded higher amplitude of accommodation push-up test results than their peers in the control group, but it failed to reach statistical significance (8.0±3.7 D vs 7.3±3.3 D, P =.125).

“Blocking the transmission of UVR through a contact lens seems beneficial in maintaining the eye’s ability to focus, suggesting that presbyopia may be delayed in long-term UVR-blocking contact lens wearers,” according to the investigators. “There is also evidence they provide protection to the critical limbal region.”

Study limitations include its retrospective nature and potential confounding caused by lifestyle factors among participants. 

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or clinical research organizations. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 


Wolffsohn JS, Dhallu S, Aujla M, et al. International multi-centre study of potential benefits of ultraviolet radiation protection using contact lenses. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. Published online April 15, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2022.101593