Prevent Blindness Declares May as Ultraviolet Awareness Month

Prevent Blindness Declares May as Ultraviolet Awareness Month

April 26, 2023

Prevent Blindness has declared May as Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month. During this time, the group aims to raise awareness of the potentially harmful effects of UV exposure on the eyes and vision.

As summer approaches and many people plan to spend more time outdoors in warmer weather, the organization offers educational resources to help individuals understand the risk of UV.

The risk of UV-related eye problems affects everyone, but some people are more susceptible to it like people who:

● Spend long hours in the sun

● Take certain medications (such as tetracycline, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics, and tranquilizers),

● Suffer from certain retina disorders

● Have had cataract surgery

The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that UV reflections off of snow, ice, sand or water can cause "snow blindness" or photokeratitis.

Additionally, the National Eye Institute identifies several issues linked to UV exposure such as:

● Pinguecula

Pterygium (also known as "surfer's eye")

● Cataract

● Eyelid cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Prevent Blindness provides free UV educational materials to professionals and the public, which can be accessed through their dedicated webpage at These materials include downloadable fact sheets and shareable social media infographics.

In order to protect one's eyes from harmful UV rays, Prevent Blindness recommends the use of UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat when outdoors, both for adults and children.

Furthermore, Prevent Blindness is actively raising awareness about eye protection during solar eclipses taking place in the United States in October 2023 and April 2024. To help with this, the organization has created a new resource called "Solar Eclipse Eye Safety," which provides tips on how to view the eclipse safely and prevent eye damage or vision loss. The site also offers free downloadable fact sheets in English and Spanish, and visitors can purchase Prevent Blindness-branded eclipse glasses to support their sight-saving programs.

“Damage to our eyes from extended UV exposure can be extremely painful and, sometimes, permanent,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Always make sure you and your family are wearing the proper eye protection in the sun, no matter what time of year, to help keep eyes healthy for years to come.”