May Press Release

05/2018                                                                                                                                         MAY EDITION


                                                                                     PBWI large


Here comes the sun!

                                                        sun n clouds

May is Ultraviolet Awareness Month. As the weather gets nicer and summer approaches, we all know to pull out the sunscreen! Protecting your skin is important, but have you ever thought about protecting your eyes from the sun?


How Does the Sun Damage Your Eyes?

The sun gives off UV-rays (invisible rays of light) which over time can cause permanent damage to your eyes. 

Types of UV Rays

UV-A: These are less-intense rays but, over time they can cause damage to the macula of your eye. The macula enables you to sharply see objects in your central vision, allowing you to focus on fine details in front of you.

UV-B: These are more-intense rays that affect the cornea and lens of the eye. These rays can cause significant damage to the eye and over time can cause cataracts, pterygium (growths on the cornea), and corneal sunburns (photokeratitis.) 

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The Effects of Unprotected Sun Exposure


Cataracts form due to a clouding of the eye’s lens. Unprotected sun exposure during adolescence and in your 20’s and 30’s can cause cataracts to form as you age. Cataracts can restrict your vision and cause haziness, double vision, blurriness, and frequent changes in glasses/contact lens prescriptions.

Cataract 2

       Normal Vision                 Vision with a cataract

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) 

UV-A rays can cause damage to the macula of the eye over time. This can cause small protein deposits (drusen) to form on the macula, causing it to become thin and weak (dry AMD). UV-A rays can also cause abnormal blood vessels to grow underneath the macula, which can begin to leak over time (wet AMD). The only way to diagnose age-related macular degeneration is through a dilated eye exam. 

amd 2

       Normal Vision                Vision with AMD

Pterygium [tuhrij-ee-uh m]

Pterygium are growths that occur on the white areas of the eye, eventually growing onto the cornea. This condition is more common in individuals who work outside. Over time pterygiums can block and distort vision and cause discomfort if not treated. 


Learn more about Pterygium.

Corneal Burns

Prolonged sun exposure, especially on the open water or on a snowy day, can cause corneal burns. Corneal burns are a “sunburn” on the surface of the cornea. These can cause discomfort and changes in vision. If changes in your vision become severe, seek care from an eye doctor as soon as possible.    


Prevention and Protection

Avoid the use of indoor tanning beds. Exposure to UV radiation in tanning beds is 100 times greater than it is from the sun. This can lead to the development of cataracts and cancer of the uvea, the layer of tissue beneath the white area of your eye. 

Wear sunglasses or goggles that have a label stating they “absorb 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B rays” and make sure your sunglasses cover your entire eye. 

Wear a large brimmed hat outside to help reduce glare from the sun.


                                                   updated sunglasses 

Who is at Risk? 

Everyone is at risk for UV radiation damage to their eyes. Those who are at an increased risk include:

  • Children
  • Individuals with light colored irises (blue or green colored eyes)
  • Individuals who have had cataract surgery and do not have a UV-absorbent artificial lens
  • Those on photosensitizing drugs (Learn more)


The Benefits of the Great Outdoors and Your Vision

While you should protect your eyes whenever outside, you shouldn’t avoid going outside. Spending time outdoors allows your eyes to use and strengthen the muscles needed for both near and distance vision, which can help prevent the onset of myopia (nearsightedness). 

Learn more about outdoors and your vision health.      

tree n sun


Join Prevent Blindness Wisconsin outside this summer!


Swing for Sight Golf Outing:

Enjoy a relaxing round of golf while supporting a sight-saving cause. Form a team today!

Click here for more information

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Addi’s Walk:

An event that gets you outside and active! Join us for Addi’s Walk on August 1, 2018 to support children’s vision health. 

Click here for more information

 Addis Walk logo

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about vision health.



   (414) 765-0505                                                                                        [email protected]