Note: Dr. Steinberg has no connection to Zurich International. As a customer, he took the time to write the following article about his personal experience with Extreme Glare technology.
RC flyers as a group suffered far more UV damage to the eyes than was considered normal.
It all started back in the sixties when I was serving as an optometrist in the U.S. Navy. During my career I would get transferred to a new area recovery couple of years. Of course, as an avid RC enthusiast, I would join up with the local model club wherever I was sent, and in this manner I made a great many flying friends, both military and civilian types. As one might expect, many of my flying buddies would come to me for eye exams over the years, and little by little I came across a significant observation. It appeared that a statistically much higher number of these RC pilots turned out to have cataracts among these folks, but the condition was turning up at younger ages than we have been led to expect.
To me, the conclusion was fairly obvious, and I was convinced that RC flyers as a group suffered far more UV damage to the eyes than was considered normal, all because we spent so much time staring up almost directly at the source of harmful ultraviolet radiation. One can imagine the geometrical increase in UV exposure when the gaze is not straight ahead, but elevated to look at the sky on a sunny day. I began to caution my patients against spending time in the sun without UV protection, and those who regularly engaged in high glare pursuits were given even more lengthy lectures on eye protection. This group included not only RC flyers, but also boating fans, fishermen, skiers and full scale pilots.
I did all I could to spread the word, and to find what was the best eye protection available.
It wasn't until 1985 when the full import of my discovery hit me in a very personal way, as I developed highly premature cataracts with multiple visual complications. This brought about a dozxen or so eye operations, and while the damage was great, most of my vision was eventually restored by heroic medical procedures.
Previous to the onset of these frightening episodes, my use of sun protective eyewear was very sporadic, and I often used no protection at all. As one can imagine, overnight I changed from a mere preacher of the gospel of UV protective lenses to a full-fledged born again convert! I did all I could to spread the word, and to find what was the best eye protection available. I remembered that back in my navy days we used to supply pilots with neutral gray tinted sunglasses provided by the major opthalmic companies in the country, primarily Bausch & Lomb and the American Optical Company. These sunglasses still rank among the best available, but they do have a couple of major shortcomings. The primary one is that they are available only in non-prescription forms, and so are of no use to those who wear prescription glasses. Secondly, they afford protection from UV sources located directly in front of the eyes, but do not adequately stop harmful radiation coming from above, below, or to the sides. Therefore, I had little recourse but to rely on neutral gray tints and coatings applied to my regular prescription eyeglasses.
Enter Boyd E. Newman of Zurich Sunglasses, who I ran into displaying his products at a Las Vegas trade show. Boyd was selling a wrap-around sunglass which at first glanced looked similar to the cheapies sold at the local drugstore. Boyd had no idea who I was, and when he offered me a pair of sunglasses to try on, proclaiming them to be the finest eyewear available, I smiled and started to decline his offer, thinking he was just another purveyor of cheap Taiwan sunglasses. But then I looked into his eyes and the sincerity and honesty I saw persuaded me to slip them on. He urged me to step outside into the harsh midday desert sunlight, and on doing so , I was startled by what appeared to me to be a new dimension of vision. The clarity and comfort I experienced were so superior to anything I had ever tried, that I felt like a blind person who had just regained his sight!
The sunglasses Boyd had me try were called "Zurich R/C Sunglasses". I have worn them exclusively over my prescription glasses for the past ten years or so. Because of their wrap around construction, they protected my eyes from radiation coming from every direction, and their shatter resistance has warded off potential eye injury more than once.
There is no better UV protection for the eyes than is provided by Zurich sunglasses.
The bottom line is that my retinal and cataract problems seem to have been stopped cold from the day I started using this product. I've had no further eye problems, and a I intend to use these sunglasses every time I step out into the daylight. Notice, I did not say "sunlight," because harmful UV radiation exists even though the sky may be heavy with clouds or overcast. Oh, if I haad only started earing them twenty years ago!
I find it necessary to now warn model flying enthusiasts.
I was so enthusiastic over this product that I immediately wrote an article in a leading RC publication in praise of my Zurich R/C sunglasses, and the consumer response was almost overwhelming. Zurich still continues to sell their sunglasses in great numbers, and certainly doesn't need any help from me in that respect. However, I find it necessary to now warn the model flying enthusiasts once again about a new problem that has come to my attention, that of skin cancer occurring in the eye area. Recent findings have confirmed that the effect of sun damage around the eyes can vary anywhere from non-malignast which results in loss of eyelid elasticity, to full blown malignant melanomas, which can be life threatening in many cases.
Furthermore, according to the American Optometric Association, "Ninety percent of basal cell carcinomas are found around the ey, mostly in the lower lid. Experts theorize that's because that lid is most exposed to overhead ultraviolet radiation." Strangely enough, I've had my share of facial skin lesions due to ultraviolet exposure, some slight, and some more serious, but I have never had one in the area of my eyes and I am certain that was because of my constant use of Zurich sunglasses.
A representative will be happy to supply you with any further information.
As if all this isn't daunting enough, latest findings show that the annual average amount of UV-B, the portion of the ultraviolet spectrum that causes the most damage, has increased 9.9 percent per decade at the southernmost portions of Argentina and Chile. The changes in North America are smaller, about 4 percent increase for areas near the U.S.-Canadian border, said the study published in Geophysical Research Letters. By extrapolating, we can assume that the average increase in harmful ultraviolet radiation in the United States is around seven percent just over the past ten years!
Now if you've read this far, I earnestly hope my efforts have served to make you a believer that the sun has become the enemy of those who frolic excessively in its bright rays. I suggest that those who are interested in effectively shielding their eyes from the ravaging effect of nature, contact Zurich Sunglasses without delay. You may call them at (800) 533-5665, or visit their websites: www.z-xg.com has detailed information and you can purchese them online at www.extremeglaresunglasses.com. A representative will be happy to supply you with any further information about these miraculous sunglass products.
If you would like to discuss any eye-related problems with me, you can do so via email. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
— Dr. Art Steinberg, O.D.