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Winter Sun's UV Rays Can Damage EyesThe Vision Council Encourages Winter Sports Lovers to Wear Proper UV Protection
Alexandria, VA (November 29, 2010) - As winter gets underway, many Americans stop wearing sunglasses and proper ultra-violet (UV) protection. However, for the countless Americans who participate in winter's outdoor activities, there is still a glaring need to protect the eyes and the skin around them from overexposure to harmful UV radiation.
In fact, some winter conditions heighten susceptibility to UV damage, particularly for those engaged in high-altitude sports or sports that involve snow or ice. Fresh snow reflects nearly 80 percent of UV radiation, and UV rays can bounce back off of frozen water, doubling exposure. Under clear skies, altitude increases exposure to UV radiation-by an intensity of 16 percent for every 1,000 meters above sea level.
"The Vision Council wants people to be aware of the potential for UV damage from participating in outdoor winter sports," said Ed Greene, CEO of the Vision Council. "Cooler temperatures don't mean that it's time to put away your UV protection. Shielding the eyes from the sun in winter is just as important as doing it at any other time of year."
Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the leading causes of vision loss among older Americans. Snow blindness, with symptoms such as redness, puffiness around the eyes, burning, watering and sensitivity to light, is also a danger.
Winter activities in which there is an increased UV-exposure risk include: skiing, sledding, outdoor ice hockey and figure skating, mountain climbing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Anyone participating in outdoor activities in winter can protect their eyes by wearing appropriate UV protection which includes:
- Sport goggles
- Over-Rx sunglasses designed to be worn over prescription eyeglasses
- Sun-clips that can be snapped on to a pair of eyeglasses
- Photochromic lenses which darken to a sunglass lens as you move from the indoors out, providing a convenient way to defend eyes
- Polycarbonate lenses for eyewear which offer UV protection as well as impact-resistance
"It is important for people to keep in mind that, regardless of the season, the longer they are out in the sun, the more UV radiation they receive, said Greene. "This includes participating in winter sports as well as outdoor spectator events such as football. Anytime an individual is outdoors they should limit winter UV exposure by wearing appropriate UV protection."
For more information please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/sunglasses or contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or email@example.com.
Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.