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Monthly Focus: July is National Sight Preservation Month

Two million Americans are visually impaired. Take simple steps to protect your vision.

Protect your eyes from the sun as you do your skin. Each form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight, UV-A and UV-B, can be harmful to your eyes. UV-A, penetrating deeply, can injure the macula in your retina, causing loss of central vision. UV-B rays can lead to photokeratitis ("corneal sunburn"), which occurs in prolonged exposure such as at the beach or on ski slopes. The result can be pain and temporary loss of vision. UV rays can also accelerate the development of cataract, which occurs much later in life.

  • Wear caps or hats with brims.
  • Use only sunglasses that screen over 99% of all uv rays.
  • (Call 1-800-331-2020 for a free copy of "Selecting Good Protection for your Eyes")

The US Product Safety Commission estimates that 261,000 product-related eye injuries were treated in American emergency rooms in 2000. Four thousand of these were caused by hair products, including hair dye, which can cause serious eye damage including permanent blindness. Cosmetics are not as dangerous as hair dyes but they too can cause eye injuries. Follow these simple steps to protect your eyes.

  • Wash your hands before you apply makeup; it isn't only cosmetics that should be kept out of your eyes.
  • Your applicators should be clean, or better yet, disposable and not previously used.
  • Don't risk cross-contaminating mascara brushes by dipping in one product, then another.
  • Choose wisely: Products labeled "hypo-allergenic" or "for sensitive skin" are less likely to cause irritation or allergy; those labeled "natural" or "no preservatives" are vulnerable to bacterial infection.
  • Protect your cosmetics: use your own; don't share; keep them out of heat and cold.
  • Make like Cinderella: Remove your makeup at night, don't sleep in it.

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Monthly Focus: July is National Sight Preservation Month

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