JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 12, 2012) -- Most people know that exposure to the sun, especially at the height of summer, can damage their skin. But, extended exposure to the same harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that affect skin can also damage your eyes.
On the new edition of Healthy Vision with Dr. Val Jones, dermatologist and author Jeanine Downie, M.D., and Stephen Cohen, OD, past president of the Arizona Optometric Association, join Dr. Val to talk about the importance of protecting your body from the sun’s dangerous UV rays.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million new cases diagnosed every year. “One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime,” says Dr. Downie. “That is why it is critical that regardless of age or ethnicity, you wear sun block every single day, rain or shine, January through December.”
“Unlike skin, where you may see sunburn after a day at the beach, damage to the eyes may not manifest for years, at which point the damage is already done and it is too late to reverse the effects of the sun,” adds Dr. Cohen. “Since the sun can cause irreversible harm to all structures of the eye and surrounding tissue that is left unprotected or under-protected, it is important to get maximum protection beginning in childhood.”
In addition to UV-related health risks, exposure to the sun can also change the overall appearance of your skin and eyes. “You may notice more fine lines and wrinkles, larger pores, and your skin may have a rougher texture,” explains Dr. Downie. “Instead of having that nice white, bright appearance to the eyes, your eyes may get a little bit cloudier looking, have a duller appearance, and you may see more redness and blood vessels than normal,” adds Dr. Cohen.
Both doctors share tips on steps adults and children can take to protect their eyes and skin throughout the year, along with recommendations on how frequently to see a dermatologist for a total skin check and an eye care professional for an eye exam.
Healthy Vision™ with Dr. Val Jones is devoted to educating and improving the eye health of Americans. The program is supported by ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses and is hosted by Val Jones, M.D, CEO of Better Health, LLC, a network of popular health bloggers, and author of, “Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason,” which won The Best New Medical Blog award in 2007. Her new blog on eye health can be found at http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/healthy-vision.
Free podcasts of Healthy Vision™ with Dr. Val Jones can be found in the iTunes® Store (for best results, search for the show by its complete title. You will find it in LifeMinute.TV Health) and on BlogTalk Radio (www.blogtalkradio.com/healthyvision).
For further information, contact:
VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
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Dr. Val Jones and Dr. Stephen Cohen are paid consultants for VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Dr. Downie is a paid consultant for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
ACUVUE®, Healthy Vision™ and VISTAKON® are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc
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 Rogers, HW, Weinstock, MA, Harris, AR, et al. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):283-287.
Robinson, JK. Sun exposure, sun protection, and vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294:1541-43.