RED BANK, N.J., May 5 It's just as important to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays as it is to shield your skin. Yet many families are not taking simple, important steps to protect their eyes from ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
While 85 percent of Americans recognize that UV rays can damage their eyes, only 65 percent wear sunglasses as protection, and even fewer (39 percent) make sure their children wear sunglasses.*
To help parents, caregivers and others better understand the risks associated with UV exposure to the eyes and steps to take to minimize UV exposure, HealthyWomen, the leading independent health information source for women, is offering a free educational resource, Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know.
"It can take years before you experience any of the sun's damaging effects on your eyes, but some damage can also occur in the short term," says Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, and executive director of HealthyWomen. "This latest in our series of Fast Facts for Your Health resources can help families understand the potential damage that UV can cause to their eyes and vision. It's a quick read on the unexpected sources of UV radiation damage, as well as straightforward, practical advice for reducing the risks of UV exposure."
While sunglasses are definitely a good idea when it comes to eye protection, not all sunglasses are created equal. Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know offers guidance on what to look for in selecting sunglasses to help protect your eyes from the sun. It also offers information about UV-blocking contact lenses, which can provide an important measure of additional protection for individuals who wear contact lenses.
"Everyone should take these simple steps to protect their eyes from the sun's rays. It's especially important for parents to ensure that they are taking steps to protect their children's eyes with appropriate eyewear, since researchers estimate we receive 80 percent of lifetime exposure to UV rays by the age of 18," adds Ms. Cahill.
Fast Facts for Your Health: The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know was developed with the support of VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., and can be viewed or downloaded at www.healthywomen.org/sunandyoureyes.
*Source: Global Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care, THE VISION CARE INSTITUTE(TM), LLC. To view the Executive Summary, visit www.thevisioncareinstitute.com/globalsurvey.
VISTAKON® is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.