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May is UV Awareness Month at Prevent Blindness

(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO, IL — As the warmer weather begins to encourage more outdoor activities, Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, has declared May as Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month. The nonprofit group is seeking to educate the public on the negative effects of UV exposure to the eyes and vision, offering a dedicated webpage, here, downloadable fact sheets and shareable social media infographics.

There are two types of UV rays: UV-A and UV-B. Over time, the effects of UV rays may help cause a number of eye problems. UV-A rays may affect central vision. They can damage the macula, a part of the retina at the back of the eye. The front part of the eye (the cornea and the lens) absorbs most UV-B rays, but these rays may cause even more damage to the eyes than UV-A rays.

According to the Wilmer Eye Institute and Johns Hopkins Medicine, corneal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration are all possible chronic effects from UV exposure and can ultimately lead to decreased vision. Additionally, UV light is associated with skin cancers including squamous cell carcinomas, basal cell carcinomas, and cutaneous melanoma. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur not just on the skin, but on the conjunctiva and invade the cornea and inside of the eye, in some cases necessitating removal of the entire eye.

The Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe report from The Vision Council lists factors that put people’s eyes at greater risk of damage from UV exposure, including:

Prevent Blindness strongly recommends wearing UV-blocking sunglasses as well as a brimmed hat to provide the best protection against UV rays. Sunglasses should:

“Spending time outdoors offers many health benefits. We encourage adults and children to wear the proper UV protection for their eyes to keep them safe and healthy today, and in the years to come,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

David Greening David Greening, ABOC, BS(HONS) Ophth. Dispensing David is our resident optician, and has been in optics since 2002. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing in Kent, England (2014). He has extensive experience, having managed his own practice for many years prior to arriving at Astorino & Associates Eye Center. He is a licensed American optician (ABOC) and is well-recognized for his quality of service, attention to detail, and patient care.

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