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How to Protect Your Eyes From Dangerous UV Rays This Summer


A new report from The Vision Council, Spare Your Sight: Using Shades for Protection and Style, has found that Americans greatly fear vision loss. Yet, most of us aren’t taking protective measures to safeguard our vision.

“UV damage to your eyes can start in as little as 15 minutes,” warns Justin Bazan, O.D., a medical advisor to The Vision Council. “Many Americans have a ‘passive’ relationship with their sunglasses,” he adds. “And they don’t realize the dangerous health consequences that can occur from overexposure to the sun’s rays without the right eye protection.”

The fact is, only 31 percent of the people in the survey protected their eyes with sunglasses or other UV-protective eyewear every time they went outside. And 70 to 80 percent of them didn’t realize sun exposure could lead to serious consequences, such as sunburned eyes, cataracts or age-related macular degeneration.

Additionally, even when you do wear sunglasses, you may not be choosing the right kind.

“Many consumers make sunglass purchases based on style and comfort,” said Mike Daley, the CEO of The Vision Council. “But when choosing a pair of sunglasses, it’s vital to check the label to make sure lenses are UVA/UVB protective.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Parents are more likely to wear shades (56 percent) than their children (29 percent).
  • Many adults who rarely or never wear sunglasses report that they skip UV eye protection because they don’t own prescription sunglasses.
  • Millennials are least likely to protect their vision: 55 percent of people in their 20s never, rarely, or only sometimes wear sunglasses.

The Vision Council recommends making UV protection your top priority when buying sunglasses. Purchase them from a reputable source, and look for a label on the lens or frame indicating UVA and UVB protection.

Click here for some great sunglass options for protecting your eyes from the hazards of strong summertime UV rays.

And the UV rays from sun aren’t the only things causing damage to your eye health…for those times you opt to stay indoors to cool off this summer, before logging onto your computer, be sure to check out Blue Light-Blocking Glasses: The Reason Everyone is Wearing Them (And You Should Be, Too).


Many Americans putting vision at risk from sun damage. Press Release. GYMR via EurekAlert. May 2016.

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