Eyes Need Protection from Summer Sun; Pearle Vision urges protection for eyes against the dangers of UV and sun glare

May 18, 2000, 01:00 ET from Pearle Vision

    CLEVELAND, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer approaches, many of us know
 how important it is to protect our skin against the damaging ultraviolet (UV)
 rays of the sun.  Pearle Vision also reminds us how important it is to protect
 our eyes from the dangers of the sun as well.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000517/CGMW01 )
     Wearing the right sunglasses is the most effective way to protect your
 eyes, and Pearle Vision recommends their customers take a look at the variety
 of both prescription and non-prescription sunglass styles that are available
 to fit a range of lifestyles.
     In addition, new online technology is making it easier for Pearle Vision's
 customers to decide which style of sunglass or eyeglass frame would be best
 suited for them.  At www.pearlevision.com the Interactive Frame Selector helps
 users identify the most complementary style of frame based on face shape and
 lifestyle.  Also, the Personal Frame Selector is another feature on the Web
 site that allows users to download their image and "try on" the sunglasses or
 eyeglasses of their choice.
     The Summer Sun
     For many Americans, the coming summer months mean an increase in outdoor
 activities.  These added hours in the sun can damage your skin resulting in
 premature aging, burning and skin cancer, and prolonged exposure to direct UV
 radiation can also harm your eyes.  Just as you wear a hat and apply sunscreen
 to protect your skin from the sun, you should always protect your eyes with a
 pair of UV resistant sunglasses.
     Pearle Vision stresses the use of UV resistant sunglasses because even one
 day in powerful sun can result in a burned cornea (the outermost, clear
 "window" of the eye), and long-term exposure over the years can lead to
 cataracts (clouding of the eye lens that results in blindness), possible night
 blindness and macular retina damage.
     Children and people who spend a great deal of time in the sun are
 especially susceptible.  Two types of UV rays, UV-A and UV-B, have been linked
 to cataracts and cancer of the skin around the eyes.  Pearle Vision recommends
 that everyone wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV radiation.
 It is important to note that UV protection comes from a compound applied to
 the lenses of sunglasses and not from the color or how dark a pair of lenses
 might be.  If you are unsure about the protection your sunglasses provide,
 vision experts at Pearle Vision can inspect your sunglasses to determine if
 they are UV resistant.
     Another Summer Sun Danger
     In addition to UV rays, glare from the sun also can be a serious problem.
 Glare impairs vision, hampers concentration and can cause headaches and
 fatigue.  The results are often unsafe driving situations.
     Dr. Paul Kling, an independent optometrist affiliated with Pearle, is
 familiar with the dangers of driving and glare.  "Glare is a blinding
 concentration of light reflected off of surfaces like water, sand, snow or
 pavement, even another vehicle's windshield or rear window.  If you're driving
 while glare is a factor, you have a potentially dangerous situation, because
 you lose a certain amount of your depth perception," Kling said.  "Glare will
 also affect your field of vision while driving, typically because you have to
     How to Protect Your Eyes
     Dr. Kling recommends that it's important to make time for regular eye
 exams.  Whether you wear glasses or not, everyone can benefit from eye exams
 because they can detect many health problems, including those complicated by
 exposure to the sun.
     "People believe they can protect themselves from the harmful effects of UV
 and glare by simply wearing any old pair of sunglasses," Dr. Kling said.  "But
 this just isn't true.  There is a difference among sunglasses and the levels
 of glare and UV protection they provide."
     Darkened plastic or glass lenses without special filters just trick you
 into a false sense of safety, Dr. Kling cautions.  For optimal protection, he
 recommends sunwear that blocks a minimum of 99 percent of UV rays.
     "But lenses with UV coatings alone will not eliminate glare.  If you want
 to protect your eyes from both glare and UV rays, you should purchase
 sunglasses labeled 'polarized,'" Dr. Kling said.  "Sunglasses with polarized
 lenses incorporate a thin polarizing filter which effectively eliminates
     Pearle Vision offers customers polarized sunglasses in its exclusive line
 of Sunfoils polarized sunglasses, which are available with both prescription
 and non-prescription lenses.  In addition, Pearle offers the latest sunglasses
 from Tommy Hilfiger, Ray-Ban, Maui Jim, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, DKNY, and
 Guess.  Pearle Vision associates are specially trained to guide in the
 selection of frames.
     About Pearle Vision
     To locate the Pearle Vision store nearest you, visit www.pearlevision.com
 or call 1-800-YES-EYES.  Founded in 1961 by Dr. Stanley C. Pearle, Pearle
 Vision is one of the nation's leading optical retailers with nearly 800 stores
 in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.  Pearle Vision is a subsidiary of
 Cleveland, Ohio-based Cole National, a $1 billion optical and gift retailer
 with a combined total of more than 2,800 retail locations.
     Contact:  Steffany Hedenkamp or Andy Ernsting of Barkley Evergreen &
 Partners, 816-842-1500, for Pearle Vision.

SOURCE Pearle Vision