Unprotected sun exposure could have blinding consequences

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BALTIMORE, MD, July 18, 2019 – Versant Health, a leading national managed eye health and vision plan company, warns of the blinding risk of unprotected exposure to UV rays.

UV rays are well-known to increase your risk for several eye conditions that can lead to blindness, most notably cataracts and macular degeneration. Specifically, research shows that those people with the most sun exposure had higher grades, or severity, of cataract. Similarly, with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), UV exposure has been shown break down the sensitive tissues of the macula—the middle of the retina that is responsible for central vision and fine detail perception—which increases the risk for AMD.

“Cataract and macular degeneration are not the only vision risk when it comes to unprotected sun exposure,” explains Dr. Mark Ruchman, Chief Medical Officer, Versant Health. “Other conditions can also be caused or worsened by UV rays, including pterygium, which is a fleshy growth that can grow large enough to cover part of the cornea and affect vision, and photokeratitis, or light-induced corneal damage.”

In honor of UV Safety Month, be sure to wear sunglasses and protect your eyes and reduce your risk for UV-related vision damage whenever you are outside. Choose sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection, or UV 400 protection. This means they protect you from both UVA and UVB radiation. And if you wear prescription eyeglasses, be sure they have a 100% UV protective coating to ensure you are not caught unprotected unnecessarily.

About Versant Health

Versant Health is one of the nation’s leading managed vision care companies serving more than 33 million members nationwide. Through our Davis Vision plans and Superior Vision plans, we help members enjoy the wonders of sight through healthy eyes and vision. Providing vision and eye health solutions that range from routine vision benefits to medical management, Versant Health has a unique visibility and scale across the total eye health value chain. As a result, members enjoy a seamless experience with access to one of the broadest provider networks in the industry and an exclusive frame collection. Commercial groups, individuals, third parties, and health plans that serve government-sponsored programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are among our valued customers.

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