AOA & OAA Announce SUN Initiative

Mar 23, 2012, 17:37 ET from American Optometric Association

NEW YORK, March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Opticians Association of America (OAA), with sponsorship from Luxottica and The Vision Council, have formed a SUN alliance designed to empower practices and businesses with the training and information needed to educate and prescribe appropriate sun protection for every patient.

At the core of the SUN initiative is a comprehensive training program created to help eye care professionals deliver a lifetime of outdoor eye protection. "We have joined together in this outstanding industry alliance to confirm to all that sun protection is not optional. It is a professional responsibility," said Dori Carlson, O.D., AOA President. "It is the responsibility of optometry to educate the public about the dangers of the sun and the importance of prescribing proper protection."

The SUN training program clearly defines the elements of quality protection in terms of lenses and frame choices. "We are confident that the optician's emphasis on quality protection will go a long way in ensuring a lifetime of good sight and eye protection, as well as improving and protecting the health of every office," said Shirley Earley, OAA President.

Beginning in April, the COPE and ABO-approved educational series, Protect, Prescribe and Present, will be delivered digitally on the AOA website,; and the OAA website, and encompass the following:

  • Part 1 • Protect describes the health issues resulting from UV and High Energy Visible (HEV) radiation exposure, delivering a set of actionable steps for the practitioner to ensure that all patients understand the importance of quality outdoor eye protection.
  • Part 2 • Prescribe develops an action plan for the optometrist and the optician. For the doctor, this course delivers examples of how to discuss the research that proves the need for sun protection. For the optician, this segment clearly defines how to set goals and identify the best protective products.
  • Part 3 • Present teaches one of the most difficult areas for many offices to master – the language and methods to visually merchandise outdoor eyewear to every consumer/patient. This segment presents methods to easily communicate the benefits of prescribing and dispensing outdoor eyewear.

"Luxottica is honored to support the industry-wide SUN initiative. We believe this initiative is vitally important to the safety and eye health of every patient and consumer, and the growth and success of the optical industry," said Andrea Dorigo, President, Luxottica USA. "This is an actionable program that can truly make a difference in preventing sun-related eye diseases among people young and old."

About the American Optometric Association (AOA): The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors. Doctors of optometry provide two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States.

American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, trained doctors on the frontline of eye and vision care who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major role in a patient's overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

About the Opticians Association of America (OAA): Established in 1926 as the Guild of Prescription Opticians, the Opticians Association of America (OAA) is the only national organization representing opticianry's business, professional, educational, legislative and regulatory interests. OAA's mission is to serve as the single unified voice of the profession of opticianry and to the commitment of promoting the professional stature of opticians through leadership, education, legislative representation, and communication. OAA fosters, supports, and sponsors programs of competency certification, licensing and continuing education for the professional development of all opticians.

SOURCE American Optometric Association