Despite Higher Risks, Many Hispanic Adults Aren't Taking Steps to Protect Their Eye Health

Research sponsored by Transitions Optical confirms low awareness of risk factors and of the need for year-round UV eye protection

Sep 16, 2015, 10:00 ET from Transitions Optical, Inc.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Sept. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off and many Hispanic families are celebrating their heritage and culture, Transitions Optical, Inc. is urging them to also make time to think about their eyes. New research[i] by Wakefield for Transitions Optical, Inc. reveals that nearly eight out of 10 Hispanic Americans are experiencing vision problems that can negatively impact their health and everyday lives, yet few are taking steps to protect and enhance their vision – with just four out of 10 saying they visited their eye doctor within the past year.

This is unfortunate, considering Hispanics are more likely to develop several eye health issues – including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and pterygium – as well as serious overall health issues, like diabetes and hypertension, which can affect their vision. Despite their higher risks, the survey found that half of Hispanic Americans don't know that their ethnicity could put them at an increased risk. Additionally, while the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can contribute to or worsen several eye health issues, nearly half of Hispanics incorrectly believe that they only need to protect their eyes from UV rays during the spring and summer months. In fact, Hispanics are the most likely demographic group to believe that year-round UV eye protection isn't necessary (46 percent of Hispanics vs. 36 percent of the general population).

"We know that Hispanics both think about and value their eye health, because our research has shown that they are more likely than any other demographic group to worry about developing vision problems and eye health issues in the future. Yet, there is a huge disconnect in the number of Hispanics who are actually taking preventive measures to protect their long-term eye health," said Patience Cook, director, North America marketing, Transitions Optical. "Many vision problems and eye health issues can be better managed or avoided with early detection and treatment, so having routine, comprehensive eye exams is really important."

Poor vision affects quality of life for many Hispanics

According to the survey, Hispanics are affected by a wide range of vision problems, with top complaints including trouble seeing up-close or far away, trouble seeing at night and blurry vision. Eight out of 10 Hispanics also report experiencing visual disturbances as a result of bright light or glare, such as squinting, eyestrain or fatigue and headaches.

These problems are not only affecting their vision, but are also impacting their daily lives. Hispanics are more likely than the general population to say that vision problems are interfering with their ability to enjoy hobbies and leisure activities (52 percent vs. 45 percent), and are also more likely to say that vision problems are hurting their productivity at work (57 percent vs. 50 percent). Hispanic men are even more likely (63 percent) to say that their vision problems are affecting their workplace productivity and ability to enjoy hobbies.

"While vision problems related to light and glare are extremely common, they are fortunately among the easiest to address through the right eyewear," said Cook. "Transitions® lenses, for example, offer glare protection by adapting to changing lighting conditions and block 100 percent of harmful UV rays."

To help raise awareness about the importance of regular eye care for at-risk, diverse populations, Transitions Optical offers a number of education resources through its Transitions Cultural Connections™ initiative. Several materials, including a "What to Expect: Hispanic Eyes" brochure – in English and Spanish – are available free-of-charge at MyMulticulturalToolkit.com

About Transitions Optical, Inc.
Transitions Optical is the leading provider of plastic photochromic (adaptive) lenses to optical manufacturers worldwide. Having been the first to successfully manufacture and commercialize plastic adaptive lenses in 1990, and as a result of its relentless investment in research and development and technology, Transitions Optical offers a wide variety of products, setting new standards of advanced performance to provide ever increasing visual comfort and UV protection.

Product leadership, consumer focus, and operational excellence have made the Transitions® brand one of the most recognized consumer brands in optics.

For more information about the company and Transitions lenses, visit Transitions.com or TransitionsPRO.com.

[i] Survey conducted in English by Wakefield on behalf of Transitions Optical, Inc. in March 2015 among a representative sample of 1,000 American adults.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150915/266763-INFO

SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.



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