Research. Educate. Advocate.

To support medical RESEARCH for finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. To EDUCATE patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. To act as an ADVOCATE for the melanoma community to raise the awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma.

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The Facts

News, statistics and interesting sun and melanoma related facts!

Baby Blues

A wonderfully informative article by my friend and Santa Barbara optometrist Tiffany Corby, OD.

"Sun protection is just as important for our eyes as our skin.  We have very thin skin around our eyes that can be easily damaged by ultraviolet and infrared light.  The tissues on and inside our eyes are also prone to damage by prolonged sun exposure (most free radical damage is thought to accumulate during the first 18 years of life).   A hat and sunglasses can go a long way toward preventing sun damage to the skin around the eyes and also to the eyes themselves.  Now, for a little physiology...The specialized layer covering the whites of our eyes is called the conjunctiva.  It is prone to cumulative damage from UV and IR, which can cause pingueculas and pterygium.  These conditions are preventable damage to the conjunctiva from sun, wind, and dust that cause dryness, chaffing, and yellow callouses to form over the white parts of our eyes.  The cornea, the clear windshield of the eye, is susceptible to a severely painful consequence of extreme sun exposure called UV Keratitis or Snow Blindness.   The crystalline lens behind our iris grows like an onion, adding layers each year, and like our skin most of the free radical damage from the sun can accumulate early in life and can lead to progressive cataract development later in life.  In the back of the eye the retina contains light sensing structures with the macula at its center.  Free radical damage to the macula from ultraviolet can increase the progression of Macular Degeneration which leads to central blind spots and uncorrectable visual distortions.  Unfortunately sun exposure can also lead to several types of eye and eyelid cancers.  Annual eye examinations are crucial in the early diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.  Because sun exposure can have multiple significant consequences to vision, health, and life it is recommended that all babies, children, adolescents, adults and elderly wear UV protecting sunglasses that block the harmful sun rays from damaging effects on the visual system."

 Tiffany's top picks...

*It is also important to make sure that the sunglasses you wear are 100% UVA and UVB protective.  Polarized lenses are helpful to prevent distracting and unwanted glare.