PUT YOUR BEST SQUINTY FACE FORWARD WITH TRANSITIONS OPTICAL - CANADIANS LARGELY UNAWARE OF, AND UNPROTECTED AGAINST, UV EYE RISK

To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/transitions-optical/put-your-best-squinty-face-forward

TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - Think that squinting is just a funny face you make in the sun that can lead to wrinkles? Think again; it may be an indication that you're not properly protecting your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays.

To help bring to light the importance of properly protecting your eyes from the harmful, long-term and irreversible damage that ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause, Transitions Optical invites Canadians to take a photo of their best squinty face and upload it to the online "squinty face billboard" at www.LifeLessSquinty.ca for a chance to win a trip for two to Florida and two pairs of eyeglasses with Transitions® lenses.

"Squinting is the body's natural reaction to direct or reflective light in an attempt to protect the eyes from glare and, most importantly, UV rays," said Dr. Upen Kawale, Optometrist. "What most people don't know is that, similar to the skin, UV light can actually 'sunburn' the eye's surface."

According to a recent survey, however, Canadians say they are more concerned about the wrinkles and discomfort squinting may cause than the potential damage to their eyes.1a In fact, only three per cent of Canadians know that UV rays can have long-term and irreversible damage to their vision and only 12 per cent say they wear sunglasses when heading outdoors.1b

Dangers of UV
"UV damage builds over time," said Dr. Kawale, "and even childhood exposure can result in a higher incidence of serious eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration."

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in North Americans over the age of 50.2a However, more than 60 per cent of Canadians do not know that extended UV exposure can lead to macular degeneration.1c Likewise, 60 per cent of Canadians do not know that extended UV exposure can lead to cataracts.1d

In addition, up to 10 per cent of all skin cancers occur on the eyelids. The thin, delicate skin around the eyes make this area is more susceptible to skin cancer.2b

What Makes Us Squint
Glare is one of the major causes of squinting, and it occurs when the intensity of light is too great for the eye to adjust normally to a comfortable level. Glare can come directly from a light source or be reflected off things such as sand, water and snow.2c

Protecting Our Eyes
While UV rays are most intense in summer - with levels at their highest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. -invisible UV rays and glare are present all year-round, even on cloudy days.3a In fact, certain types of clouds have been proven to intensify UV rays. 3b

"A good pair of lenses that block 100 per cent of both UVA and UVB rays and regular routine eye exams are the most effective methods for preserving healthy sight and detecting changes in eye health," said Dr. Kawale."I also suggest that those who wear prescription glasses may want to opt for an adaptive lens that will automatically change from clear to dark in varying light conditions and block 100 per cent of the sun's eye-damaging rays."

To learn more about how you can protect your eye health and to upload your best squinty face photo for your chance to win a trip for two to Florida and two pairs of eyeglasses with Transitions® lenses, visit www.LifeLessSquinty.ca.

References

1. Transitions Optical OMNI Survey 2011. Leger Marketing.
2. Skin Cancer Foundation.    Available at http://www.skincancer.org/detecting-and-preventing-eyelid-skin-cancers.html. Accessed April 2011.
3. National Weather Service. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   
Available at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/science/uv.php?wfo=fgz. Accessed April 2011.

Video News Release will be available via satellite on Wednesday May 18, 2011 at
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Video News Release also available via download Wednesday May 18, 2011
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Notes to Editor:

About the Survey

  • A sample of 812 Canadians, 35-64 years of age or older were surveyed between April 25 and April 27, 2011, and a sample of 1512 Canadians were surveyed from May 9 to May 11, 2011, using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb.

Key Survey Findings

  • Only three per cent indicated that extended exposure to the sun can be harmful to the eyes, cause cataracts or macular degeneration.1c
  • Twelve per cent of respondents indicated that they wear sunglasses when they plan to be outside in the sun for extended periods of time.1d
  • A quarter of the respondents surveyed are most concerned that squinting their eyes causes wrinkles (25%).1e
  • Two in 10 are most concerned about the physical discomfort associated with squinting (21%) or their diminished ability to see. (20%)1f
  • When given a list of potential concerns they might have about squinting, only 12 per cent of Canadians surveyed indicated that they thought squinting might be an indication that UV rays could be impacting their eyes.1g
  • Sixty-three per cent of Canadians do not know that extended UV exposure can lead to macular degeneration.1h 
  • Sixty per cent of Canadians do not know that extended UV exposure can lead to cataracts.1i 

Contest Details
No purchase necessary.  Contest open to residents of Canada who are at least the age of majority in their province.  All submissions will be judged by a qualified panel of judges.  Grand Prize is a trip for two (2) to a Florida destination chosen by Grand Prize winner (ARV $3,050 USD). Submissions must be received by 11:59 PM ET on June 24, 2011. Contest details and how to enter available at www.LifeLessSquinty.ca.  Contest subject to full Official Rules.  Void where prohibited.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as follows:

Photo:  http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1294/-rev6566.jpg

Photo : http://smr.newswire.ca/media/articles/1294/-rev6681.jpg

Video: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/mmnr/smr/Transitions_ENG_Edit5_NC4520.flv

SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.

For further information:

Contact Information:
Kristen King 
NATIONAL Public Relations
Toronto
416-848-1427
kking@national.ca

Heather Oliver 
NATIONAL Public Relations
Calgary
403-531-0331 x254
holiver@national.ca 

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Transitions Optical, Inc.

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