Eye Health

Vision Council Report Highlights Importance of Protecting Eyes From UV Damage

05/23/2011 0 Comments

News Type: 
Business News

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council’s recently released report, Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe, outlines the factors that exacerbate exposure risks, highlights forecasts that show the intensity of solar UV in U.S. cities and offers tips for preventing the vision problems that can be caused by UV exposure.

With the approach of the summer season when UV levels peak, without protective measures, residents' eyes and skin in some U.S. cities are at very high or extreme risk of exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation at least one day out of every four. Yet despite the danger, less than one in three Americans makes the link between UV rays and eye damage, according to the report.

"It's important for people to understand both how to shield their eyes from dangerous UV radiation and the UV intensity of the places they live," said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. "With this report, we want to help people recognize the dangers of UV radiation for their eyes and motivate them to protect themselves and their families."

The report notes that many of the 58 cities for which UV levels are indexed by the National Weather Service have very high or extreme UV radiation levels more than 20 percent of the year.

"From Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Oklahoma City, to Charleston, West Virginia, this type of UV intensity causes eyes real harm, including cancer, growths on the eyes and other serious conditions," said W. Lee Ball, Jr., OD, Chairman of the Better Vision Institute, the medical advisory board to The Vision Council. "Children are particularly vulnerable, because they tend to spend more time outside and because their eyes aren't able to filter UV rays as effectively as adults' eyes."

The Vision Council has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SunWise Program, an environmental and health education effort to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves—and their vision—from overexposure to the sun. Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe is an important element of The Vision Council's ongoing commitment to help consumers stay safe in the sun.

Wearing sunglasses or other eyewear that offer UV protection is the best way to shield the eyes from the sun and the report details what consumers should consider when choosing a pair of shades. Tips for consumers include buying products that meet frame and lens quality criteria set by the American National Standards Institute and selecting sunwear that filters both UVA and UVB light, the report said.

To view or download a copy of Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe and a comprehensive list of sun-safe tips to pass on to patients, visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/sunglasses.

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