The Vision Council is educating consumers on the serious eye health risks from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays with the release of its newest UV protection report, titled ‘UV’ Gotta Have Shades.

The report will serve as a key media pitching tool throughout the remainder of the year to encourage consumer media coverage of The Vision Council’s general UV and National Sunglasses Day campaign.

Pertinent to not only consumer media, but also the vision industry at large, the report highlights key findings from The Vision Council’s most recent VisionWatch survey surrounding American adults’ and children’s UV eye protection habits; unveils the dangers of UV eye exposure; offers answers to commonly asked UV-related questions; and provides information for how to properly protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays year-round.

For example, the most common time for American adults to spend outdoors is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., which is when the UV exposure to the eyes is at its highest. And although American adults report experiencing symptoms of UV eye exposure – including irritation of the eyes, trouble seeing, wrinkles around the eyes, red or swollen eyes, sunburn on the eyelids and eyes, and even cancer on or around the eyes – only 21.2 percent state they “always” wear sunglasses.

Additionally, only 7.4 percent of American adults report their child(ren) “always” wear sunglasses, even though children generally receive about three times the annual adult dose of UV.

“It is The Vision Council’s goal to shed light on the risks of UV eye exposure, and uncover the UV-protective eyewear options available to consumers,” says Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “We ultimately hope that Americans will make UV eye protection a top priority – not only for themselves, but also for their children – to preserve their eyesight for a lifetime.”

The release of the report was timed in advance of May being healthy vision and UV awareness month, as well as National Sunglasses Day, which takes annually on June 27. Additionally, The Vision Council is gearing up for its National Sunglasses Day promotions to make the campaign – which garnered more than half a billion online, broadcast and social media impressions last year, and won a bronze Bulldog Reporter Media Relations award for best use of social media in 2016 – a huge success.

The Vision Council encourages its members and those in the industry to capitalize on National Sunglasses Day’s overwhelming consumer and media popularity in the social media space by helping to spread the message. Visit for details about how to get involved, and how to access official National Sunglasses Day collateral.

The Vision Council encourages eyecare providers to engage their patients in discussions about healthy vision maintenance, including the impact of UV exposure, as well as UV-protective eyewear options. To view or download a copy of the report, visit