Prevent Blindness America is asking federal lawmakers to make UV eye protection a national health priority. Last week, the organization released a white paper summarizing discussions during a congressional briefing last fall in Washington, D.C. “There is an urgent need for intervention to protect our nation’s vision by educating the public on the dangers of UV rays and encouraging them to take preventive steps, like wearing UV-blocking eyewear and keeping up-to-date with comprehensive eye exams,” said Hugh Parry, president and CEO, Prevent Blindness America. Specifically, Prevent Blindness America is asking lawmakers to include information of UV eye protection in government programs on UV topics, such as sun protection; research on the impact of UV on the eye; and awareness of the role of eyewear. The effects of UV rays can lead to several eye problems:
- Macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss for older Americans.
- Some kinds of cataracts.
- Pterygium, a growth that begins on the white of the eye and may involve the cornea.
- Skin cancer around the eyelids.
- Corneal sunburn, the result of high short-term exposure to UV rays.
For more information and to download the full white paper visit http://www.preventblindness.org/sunandvision/.