4th of July Brings Increased Risk for UV Exposure

4th of July Brings Increased Risk for UV Exposure

Summer is the Perfect Time to Begin the Lifelong Practice of Protecting the Eyes from UV Damage

Alexandria, VA (June 30, 2011) - Whether you're heading to a barbeque, the beach or on vacation, the sun will most likely be shining bright this 4th of July weekend. Without protective measures both the skin and eyes are at extreme risk of exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

As a part of their ongoing commitment to help consumers stay safe in the sun, The Vision Council has created a new UV website www.uvbeenmissingsomething.com. The website includes information about the importance of protecting eyes and the skin that surrounds the eyes and offers tips for preventing the vision problems that can be caused by UV exposure.

The site also features a free iphone packing app that allows users to view UV levels in cities around the country, create a quick list of the number of clothes and items needed on a vacation or business trip and reminds users not to forget their sunglasses. In addition to the app visitors can also find The Vision Council report, Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe which explains the factors that exacerbate exposure risks, highlights forecasts that show the intensity of solar UV in cities across the country.

Despite the danger, less than one in three Americans makes the link between UV rays and eye damage, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. We created this website and these tools to ensure that people understand how to shield their eyes from dangerous UV radiation.

Wearing sunglasses or other eyewear that offer UV protection is the best way to shield the eyes from the sun. The UV website details what consumers should consider when choosing a pair of shades. For instance:

  • Buy from a reputable retailer: Their products will meet frame and lens quality criteria set by the American National Standards Institute.
  • Look for UV protection: Sunglasses should filter UVA and UVB light.
  • Try the sunglasses on: Fit and feel make a difference because sunglasses that are uncomfortable are less likely to be worn.
  • Use multiple pairs: Different lenses and frames may be suited to various types of activities.
  • Understand lens color: The darkness of a lens has nothing to do with UV protection, although various lens colors can offer other benefits. For instance, yellow- and brown-tinted lenses are best for water sports; gray, brown and amber are great for field sports; and mirror coatings work well for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
  • Focus on design: For extra protection, wraparound glasses or glasses with larger temple pieces help block the sun from side angles.

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.

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. said W. Lee Ball, Jr., O.D., Chairman of the Better Vision Institute, the medical advisory board to The Vision Council. Along with sunscreen, hats and their other UV-protective gear, we want people to remember to protect their eyes and their children's eyes by wearing sunglasses whenever they're outside.

To download the free iphone app or to view or download a copy of Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe, please visit www.uvbeenmissingsomething.com.

About The Vision Council

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry through education, advocacy and consumer outreach. By sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, The Vision Council serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about options in eyeglasses and sunglasses.