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Vision Council Talks UV Radiation Risks, Protection

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(Press Release) The Vision Council is educating consumers against the serious eye risks from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays with the release of its new report, Protection for the Naked Eye: Sunglasses as a Health Necessity.

The report, released today to 250 consumer reporters and editors, finds more than 25 percent of US adults rarely or never wear sunglasses, and nearly two-thirds are unaware of the link between UV exposure and serious eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

An abbreviated overview of the report was also shared with long-lead magazines in March of this year, promoting story ideas and supplements for their summer issues.

“Our goal at The Vision Council is to raise awareness about the risks of exposure to UV rays, and the sunglass options and other UV-protective eyewear available, so that more and more Americans are protecting their eyes,” said Mike Daley, the CEO of The Vision Council. “Consumers of all ages need to be aware of these issues, and the steps that they can take to prevent damage to the eyes throughout their lifetime.”

The report also finds that more than one-third of parents report that their children 13 and under rarely or never wear shades, despite the fact that children are at increased risk for UV overexposure.

“Because UV exposure happens over a lifetime and doesn’t always produce immediate symptoms, people of all ages must be aware of the negative impact sunlight can have on our eyes–without adequate protection like sunglasses,” said Justin Bazan, OD, medical adviser to The Vision Council.

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The release of the report, which coincides with May as UV Awareness Month, supports The Vision Council’s many UV protection activities including an ongoing partnership with Lifetime Fitness as well as a widespread National Sunglasses Day campaign.

The Lifetime Fitness partnership directly reaches 6.25 million consumers each month, promoting the importance of UV protection with indoor posters, digital signage, and multiple 30-second TV spots as well as sunglasses-related activities in 12 Lifetime Fitness locations throughout the country to celebrate National Sunglasses Day, June 27.

The Vision Council has utilized National Sunglasses Day as a launching point for its UV campaign, promoting this major nationwide initiative through media briefings, social media, and a petition asking consumers pledge to wear sunglasses on June 27. The Vision Council has also created an online portal to provide marketing materials for eyecare providers and retail outlets to use in promoting the use of UV protective sunglasses, increase sales of Rx and non-Rx sunglasses, and raise awareness of National Sunglasses Day.

To view or download a copy of the report, Protection for the Naked Eye: Sunglasses as a Health Necessity, visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/2015UV.

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