Article Date: 6/1/2008

Selling Patients on the Importance of UV Protection

Selling Patients on the Importance of UV Protection

QUESTION: With summer just around the corner, how can I educate my patients about the importance of UV protection and convince them to choose protective eyewear?

By Gina Wesley, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O. Medina, Minn.

Answer: It's the perfect time to educate patients about the benefits of protecting their eyes against ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although it should be a year-round concern, many patients are unaware of the damaging effects of UV rays on ocular structures. It's your job to teach patients about the risk of UV exposure. Then tell them about the following types of protective eyewear that are available.

Don't Forget Children

Most of the impact-resistant lens materials used in children's eyeglasses have an effective UV blocker, but it's never too early to educate children about the importance of UV protection.

Most people are exposed to the majority of lifetime UV damage before age 18. Recommend good quality sunglasses for all children, even those who aren't in spectacles.

Educate and Protect

Remind patients that in addition to the risk of cataracts, UV damage also increases the chance for age-related macular degeneration and malignant growths later in life. Continually educating patients about the damage that UV light causes within the eye is key to reinforcing protective habits. With a variety of eyewear options, you can help each patient find the best fit for his lifestyle. nOD

Dr. Wesley practices at Complete Eye Care of Medina and Crystal Vision Clinic in Minnesota.
You can reach her at

Optometric Management, Issue: June 2008