The Vision Council and Prevent Blindness America Join Forces to Support Don't Fry Day

The Vision Council and Prevent Blindness America Join Forces to Support Don't Fry Day

Leading Vision Groups Highlight the Importance of Protecting the Eyes from UV Damage

Alexandria, VA (May 2, 2011) - As part of Ultraviolet Awareness Month in May, The Vision Council and Prevent Blindness America have joined forces to encourage Americans to protect their eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In addition, the two groups are voicing their support for national Don't Fry Day. The Friday before Memorial Day has been designated as Don't Fry Day by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention in order to help reduce the rising rates of skin cancer in the United States.

The Vision Council and Prevent Blindness America want to make sure that people are aware of the need to protect their vision as well as their skin from overexposure to the sun, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. Along with sunscreen, hats and other protective gear, we want people to remember to wear UV-blocking sunglasses whenever they're outside.

Both The Vision Council and Prevent Blindness America have ongoing commitments to help consumers stay safe in the sun. The Vision Council will soon release a new report Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe about the importance of protecting eyes and the skin that surrounds the eyes. Prevent Blindness America offers The UV Learning Center, a dedicated website at preventblindness.org/uv, that offers free information on the dangers of UV, how to purchase the best sunglasses for adults and children, and other related topics. In March of 2011, Prevent Blindness America released a white paper with support from the Transitions Healthy Sight for Life FundTM entitled UV and Our Nation's Vision, which seeks to bring national attention to the need for public education on the damaging effects of UV radiation to eyesight.

You can still enjoy the sunshine and the outdoors, assures Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. Putting on sunglasses and applying sunscreen takes only a few minutes and helps avoid dangerous sunburns and future vision issues, such as cataracts or macular degeneration.

Wearing sunglasses or other eyewear that offer UV protection is the best way to shield the eyes from the sun. Consumers should consider the following tips when choosing a pair of shades:

  • 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 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 when 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.

To view or download a copy of The Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe and a comprehensive list of sun-safe tips, please visit http://www.thevisioncouncil.org/sunglasses. Or to view or download a copy of Prevent Blindness America's white paper on UV and Our Nations Vision, please visit http://www.preventblindness.org/sunandvision/.

For more information please contact Stephanie Sikorski at (703) 740-2248 or ssikorski@thevisioncouncil.org or Sarah Hecker at (312) 363-6035 or shecker@preventblindness.org.

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.

About Prevent Blindness America

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, divisions and chapters, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.