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Study Confirms Americans Place Their Vision at Risk Year Round

Experts Recommend Photochromic Lenses to Protect Eyes This Summer and

Throughout the Year

PINELLAS PARK, Fla., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- While consumers are aware of the dangers of extended sun exposure and its effects on the skin, many are not aware that the eyes are also at great risk. A survey conducted by the New England Eye Institute and Transitions Optical found that nearly 80 percent of consumers report knowing that UV exposure can cause skin cancer, but only five percent are aware that it can harm the eyes.

Each day whether at the beach, spending time in the park or just walking down the street -- and regardless of whether it's sunny or cloudy -- UV rays are present and can potentially damage the skin and eyes. The survey found that more than half (57 percent) of respondents said they do not wear protective eyewear when in the sun for extended periods of time. With those surveyed reporting that they spend approximately 3.5 hours each day outdoors, this represents an average of more than 1,000 hours of UV exposure per person each year.

What's more is that 3.2 million people worldwide are blind as a result of cataracts, which have been linked to UV exposure(1). The risk of developing sight-threatening conditions, such as cataracts can be lessened by taking the proper precautions.

"Everyday UV protection is important for all of my patients," said Dr. Janet Pena, optometrist, Corpus Christi, TX. "Whether it's sunny or cloudy and regardless of the time of year, it is critical that we protect our eyes from the dangers of UV rays. This protection starts with regular visits to your local eyecare professional and selecting proper eyewear. For prescription lens wearers, I recommend photochromic lenses, such as Transitions(R) lenses, which automatically adjust to block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays and reduce painful and distracting glare."

Transitions lenses are the #1 photochromic lenses recommended by eyecare professionals worldwide. "By protecting your eyes against harmful UV rays year round, you can minimize the damage to your long-term vision and ensure healthy sight," added Pena.

About New England Eye Institute

The New England Eye Institute is a network of eyecare centers and programs whose mission is to improve the visual health of populations through excellence in collaborative and community-oriented patient care, education and research. As the teaching affiliate of the New England College of Optometry, and through its ongoing collaboration with area health professionals, the New England Eye Institute offers specialized services for the whole-person that begins by focusing on comprehensive eyecare.

The New England Eye Institute aims to deliver excellent eyecare for all people at 44 health care facilities throughout Massachusetts.

About Transitions Optical, Inc.

Transitions Optical is a joint venture of PPG Industries, Inc. and Essilor International. The first to successfully commercialize a plastic photochromic lens in 1990, today the company is a leading provider of photochromics to optical manufacturers worldwide. Transitions Optical offers the most advanced photochromic technology in the widest selection of lens designs, materials and brand names.

Transitions(R) lenses are the ideal everyday choice for healthy sight. They are clear indoors and at night. Outdoors, they automatically darken as light conditions change. Transitions lenses provide visual comfort, and enhance visual quality by reducing glare and enhancing contrast, helping you to see better today. Transitions lenses block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays -- helping to protect the health and wellness of your eyes -- so you can see better tomorrow as well.

For more information about the company and Transitions lenses, the first to earn the American Optometric Association's Seal of Acceptance for Ultraviolet Absorbers/Blockers, visit or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States) or (877) 254-2590 (Canada).

(1) World Health Organization. (2002, August). Global Solar UV Index --

SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.
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