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 squint." 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 glare." 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