Healthy Vision Consumer Education Program Launches With National Museum Tour

Healthy Vision Consumer Education Program Launches With National Museum Tour


Tampa, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–February 24, 2005–“Eye-opening” is the word for the Eye Didn’t Know That! museum tour slated to visit science centers and museums around the country this year. The tour, which will launch in February, showcases healthy vision habits for children and adults through an interactive museum exhibit, and is supported by a Web site ( and a standards-based school program.

The nearly 1,000 square foot exhibit includes interactive components aimed at teaching adults and children about the importance of protecting their eyesight from the risks of sun exposure. Tour stops planned for the U.S. tentatively include: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, St. Paul and Tampa.

“While the exhibit offers valuable information for the whole family, it is especially relevant to children since their eyes are particularly vulnerable to long-term sun exposure,” according to Dr. Susan Taub, professor of ophthalmology at Northwestern University. “The lenses in children’s eyes don’t block as many UV rays as the lenses in adult eyes, and 80 percent of lifetime sun exposure occurs before we turn 18. It’s important for children and adults to understand that sun damage to the eyes is cumulative and may contribute to serious age-related diseases of the eye and the delicate skin around the eyes. This means the eye health habits we practice when we’re young are extremely important.”

To shed light on how our eyes work and age as well as the habits that enhance life-long healthy vision, Transitions Optical, Inc. , the world’s leading manufacturer of photochromic lenses – which quickly change from clear to as dark as sunglasses in proportion to the intensity of dangerous UVA and UVB rays – provided an educational grant to Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Science Center (CSC), one of the nation’s most renowned science and technology institutions, to create the compelling consumer exhibit.

“At Transitions we believe education can make a difference in the eye health of children and adults. We are partnering with the Carnegie Science Center, and working with science museums and centers nationwide, to fight eye disease by educating the public about how to take better care of their vision,” says Dave Cole, general manager of the Americas for Transitions.

The public education program comes at a time when the ozone layer that protects the earth from UV rays is decreasing 12 percent every decade, yet awareness of the need for protection of the eyes is low according to a national survey sponsored by Transitions Optical. The survey found that while 79 percent of Americans knew that extended exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, only 6 percent knew it can harm the eyes(1). With ninety percent of all skin cancers occurring above the neck (1.3 million cases diagnosed yearly in the U.S.), Cole added that it is increasingly important to educate the public, not only about protecting the skin from sun damage, but also about protecting the eyes against UV and glare.

The Eye Didn’t Know That! Exhibit

The centerpiece of the Eye Didn’t Know That! exhibit is a series of six unique hands-on experiences, including interactive kiosks and informational signage that enable visitors to fully experience and learn more about the eye and healthy vision. Ten interactive displays will demonstrate the light spectrum and effect light has on the eye, how all the parts of the eye work, what diseased eyes (cataracts) look like and how UV protection and photochromic technology can protect the eyes from the effects of harmful UV light over time.

Dennis Bateman, director of creative services and science content for the CSC, is confident the exhibit will provide visitors with the information they need to help maintain healthy vision throughout all of life’s stages. “Eye Didn’t Know That! will be entertaining and will provide visitors with useful information about a subject that often is neglected,” says Bateman, whose skilled CSC team built the exhibit.

The Eye Didn’t Know That! School Program

The Eye Didn’t Know That! national school program is geared towards middle school-aged children and their families. It will provide teachers with in-class posters and lesson plan materials, including information about the science of light to help students better understand the structure and function of the eye and the importance of healthy vision. It also includes lesson plans for local eye care professionals (ECPs) to present to classes in their communities.

“This information is valuable for people of all ages considering the body of evidence linking cumulative UV exposure to diseases of the eye, such as cataracts and macular degeneration,” said Dr. Susan Taub of Northwestern. “Lenses with UV protection also help shield the delicate tissue around the eyes where sunscreen is not applied.”

The Eye Didn’t Know That! Web Site

The Eye Didn’t Know That! Web site will allow students, parents, teachers, ECPs and the general public to virtually experience the Eye Didn’t Know That! exhibit and program, linking them to various on-line programs, games and additional information. Educators will have their own special section from which to download classroom materials. ECPs will also have their unique area geared toward helping them educate young people and families about the benefits of protecting their eyes and promoting healthy vision.

About Transitions Optical, Inc.

Transitions Optical was the first company to successfully commercialize a plastic photochromic lens in 1990. Today, the company is a leading supplier of photochromics to optical manufacturers worldwide. Transitions Optical offers the most advanced photochromic technology and the widest selection of lens designs, materials and brand names.

Transitions(R) Lenses are as clear as regular eyeglass lenses until dangerous UV rays are present. Then, the brighter the sun, the darker they get – getting as dark as sunglasses, providing protection in bright, glaring light. Since Transitions Lenses darken only as much as needed, they can be worn comfortably year-round to provide convenience and 100 percent automatic UVA, UVB and glare protection every day – sunny, cloudy or in between.

Transitions Optical is dedicated to educating consumers about eye health and providing them with information to make informed decisions to protect themselves, including information on glare and the cumulative damage from UVA and UVB radiation which may contribute to serious age-related diseases of the eye and the skin around the eye.

For more information about the company and Transitions Lenses, visit or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States)

About The Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center brings the world of science alive for visitors of all ages. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it is the number one exploration destination in the area. The museum features a four-story Omnimax Theater, an interactive Planetarium, the largest science of sport exhibit in the country, a real WWII vintage submarine on Pittsburgh’s Ohio River, a world-renowned model railroad display, three live demonstration theaters, and a building full of 400 hands-on exhibits.

In addition, Carnegie Science Center was a recipient of the 2003 National Award for Community Service in recognition of its extraordinary community activity. This award represents the highest honor given to a museum.

1. Survey conducted April 10-14, 2002 by ICR, Media, PA. On an unaided basis, 92 percent of people surveyed were aware that long-term exposure to the sun is harmful. Out of these, 79 percent know the sun can cause skin cancer and 6 percent know it can harm the eyes. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A high-resolution image is available at:




Rachel Hopkins

(412) 394-6642



Keren Blankfeld

(212) 614-4634

Healthy Vision Consumer Education Program Launches With National Museum Tour