Children’s Eye Protection
Investigations conducted over the last 30 years have established that many of the serious ocular diseases associated with aging are at least partially a result of cumulative exposure of the eyes to the sun over a lifetime, and in particular to UV and higher-energy visible light2-8.
Sunlight damages children’s eyes!
Vision experts agree that children are especially vulnerable to eye damage from UV radiation and have long recommended the use of protective lenses for all children whenever they are exposed to the sun 4,7,9-12
Some experts suggest that the use of polycarbonate photochromic lenses provide more protection than traditional fixed-tint polycarbonate lenses against higher energy visible light.
Several factors contribute to this increased ocular vulnerability in children. First, under normal circumstances, children spend more time outdoors than adults, particularly during the summer. As a result, the average child receives approximately three times the annual UV dose of the average adult and up to 80% of lifetime UV exposure before age 20.1,10 Second, the crystalline lens of children transmits more visible and UV radiation to the retina than does the lens of adults. As a result, over 75% of UV radiation is transmitted by lenses in subjects under 10 years of age, compared with 10% in those older than 25 years.11,13
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12. Diddie KR. Do sunglasses protect the retina from light damage? WJM. 1994;161:594.
13. Werner JS. Children’s sunglasses: caveat emptor. Opt Vision Sci. 1991;68:318-320.
14. Baldy C, Greenstein V, Holopigian K, Seiple W, Stenson S. Light, Sight, and Photochromics. Pinellas Park, Florida: Transitions Optical Inc. 2002.
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16. Sliney DH. Photoprotection of the eye – UV radiation and sunglasses. J Photochem Photobiol. 2001;64:166-175.
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18. Belkin M. Sunglasses for children as a preventive health measure [in Hebrew]. The Goldschlager Institute for Ophthalmic Research. 1993;124:367-370.
19. The World Health Organization. The Intersun Global UV Project. Available at: http://www.who.int/uv/intersunprogramme/en/. Accessed May 12 2012.
20. Evans PY. What to tell your patients about sunglasses. Medical Times. 1973;106:103-106.
21. Data on file. Transitions Optical, Inc.
22. Clark BAJ. Polarizing sunglasses and possible eye hazards of transmitted radiation. Am J Optom Arch Am Acad Optom. 1969;46:499-509.
23. Danger: ultraviolet light! Insight: Journal of the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses. 2002;27:80-81.
24. International Communications Research Survey. From April 10 to April 14, 2002.
25. The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Committee (AAPOS). Eye care for the children of America: The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. J Pediatric Ophthalmol Strabismus.1991;28:64-67.