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Kaitlin Casper

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Mobile Apps We Can’t Live Without

Are you on the hunt for the best apps for your mobile device? We asked Coolibar’s employees what apps they can’t live without, and here is what they shared. These apps can help you keep your body and mind healthy with a little bit of fun and organization.

 

MyFitnessPal

We love MyFitnessPal to help track your daily calorie intake and exercise. It has one of the largest food databases, which is especially important if you like to eat out. You can look up restaurant menu items in advance to find those that fit your goals and enable you to stay on track. MyFitness Pal is simple to use and connects with other devices. You can also follow your friends to help keep you accountable. It’s completely free and available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone.

 

Headsup!

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends and family, try playing Heads Up! by Ellen Degeneres. Much like the game charades, the app has multiple categories to choose from, such as superstars, animals gone wild, and accents and impressions. This may be the best 99 cents you spend on an app. After each round you can watch the hilarity of your impressions on video from your iPhone or Anroid.

 

Omvana

Take time to meditate each day with Omvana. Meditation can increase happiness, improve sleep habits, decrease stress, and help you to live an overall healthier lifestyle. Omvana offers a variety of meditations ranging from three to 60 minutes, and it includes a music mixer so you can customize your practice. It also connects with the HealthKit app to help you stay calm throughout the day. Omvana will recommend mediations based on your stress level and state of mind. It’s free, but only available for iOS.

 

Suncreen Reapplying

In addition to wearing Coolibar, one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun is the Sunscreen Re-applying Reminder App. Whether you work outdoors, are at the beach, or enjoying a day at the pool, it’s important to apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day. This app will help remind you when to reapply sunscreen for free! It’s available for both iOS and Android.

 

Trivia Crack

Think you know your trivia? Think again with Trivia Crack. Spin Willy the Wheel and challenge your friends in six different categories – science, entertainment, art, geography, sports, and history. Whoever wins all six categories first, wins the game. It’s free and available for iOS and Android.

 

todoist

Stay organized this year with Todoist by carrying your to-do list with you everywhere! It works on 13 platforms including iOS and Android, and syncs across all your devices so you never lose sight of your tasks. Download the app for free to try it out and upgrade to premium once you’re ready to take your productivity to the next level.

 

runkeeper

Whether you walk for fitness, run, jog or hike, Runkeeper is a great way to track your workouts and your routes, and get the motivation you need to hit your fitness goals. The app has more than 30 million people around the world using it to power their active lives, and it uses GPS technology in your device to track your fitness activity. The app syncs with MyFitnessPal, FitBit, LoseIt and more, and you can also link with friends through Facebook and Twitter.

 

timehop

If you’re feeling nostalgic, download Timehop. It syncs with your phone’s camera roll, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, and Flickr to highlight moments of your life. It’s like celebrating #TBT everyday. Once you view one of your Timehop’s you’ll be addicted. It’s free and available for iOS and Android. We want to see you in your Coolibar of the past, present and future.

Let us know if you have any apps you can’t live without. Share them with us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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What's Hot

Coolibar’s Favorite Gifts to Make Your Holiday Shopping Easier!

Coolibar holiday gift guide

If your idea of a white Christmas means a white sandy beach, you are not alone. Even though the temperatures are dropping, many still try to make it a priority to stay active outdoors. We have handpicked a few of our favorite gifts to help you tackle your list faster than singing “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

 

Nike custom shoes
Photo: Nike, Inc.

For the Runner

If someone on your list loves to pound the pavement, treat them to a unique pair of custom running shoes from NIKEiD. With a wide variety of shoes, styles, and colors to choose from, your recipient can be completely unique. Make running a fun activity for the whole family by spicing up the entire shoe rack.

For the Foodie

Photo: Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Photo: Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth with The Original Peppermint Bark by Williams-Sonoma (shown above). Their taste buds will go wild once he or she experiences the rich flavors of dark and white chocolate, peppermint oil, and peppermint bits. You will want to buy your own because your loved one will be tempted not to share.

For HerCoolibar ZnO Cowl Neck

The woman in your life is sure to love our ZnO Cowl Neck Pullover. This best seller is stylish, lightweight, and breathable. It’s available in eight colors and two prints. Whether she is running errands, sipping morning coffee, walking to her next yoga class, or enjoying a cocktail by the pool, the ZnO Cowl Neck Pullover is so versatile you may want to get her two!

For the Sports Enthusiast

Picking the right pair of sunglasses can be daunting. So why not take the guesswork out? In Oakley stores, experts work one-on-one with your gift recipient to build sunglasses with the best performance features for any outdoor activity such as golf, cycling, running, hiking, fishing, hunting, or water sports. There are millions of possible combinations of frames, lenses, ear socks, and icons to create a unique and custom look, and they can even handle prescriptions. Your loved one will not only look stylish but will be protecting their eyes from the sun as well.

For the Person on the Go

Photo: Jon Hart Design, LLC
Photo: Jon Hart Design, LLC

Help your loved one stay organized with a customizable bag. Jon Hart Design creates fashionable yet durable bags for anyone. You can find bags for work, travel, and sports and outdoors. They offer a wide variety of colors, materials, and monogram styles to choose from allowing you to make a one-of-a-kind bag for the special someone in your life.

For Him

Give the man on your list the gift of style and comfort with our timeless UPF 50+ Sport Polo. He will look polished anywhere he goes, whether it’s the gym, office, or a casual dinner. Choose from three vibrant colors that are great for any time of year.

 

Photo: Beats Electronics Inc.
Photo: Beats Electronics Inc.

For the Musicoholic

It’s no fluke that Beats by Dre are the worlds most popular headphones. These headphones are stylish, comfortable, and allow listeners the ability to feel, and not just hear, the music whether indoors or out. The noise-canceling feature will reduce most surrounding noises while playing their favorite tunes. Beats come in a variety of colors to suit their taste, and have a 20-hour rechargeable battery.

Photo: Gallery Leather
Photo: Gallery Leather

For the Writer

A personalized journal from Gallery Leather is the way to go for the person on your list, who loves to stay organized, make lists, or jot down their thoughts. He or she will enjoy writing in their hand-bound Spanish leather journal every day.

 

Coolibar Swim SkortFor Girls

Little girls will stay sun safe and look fashionable in our Girls Swim Skort. The Navy Polka Dot pattern pairs well with our Girl’s Short Sleeve Surf Shirt in Bubblegum Zig Zag, or any shirt of your choice. Busy girls can go from swimming in the ocean to a nearby jungle gym, and then out to lunch in this outfit.

 

For the Outdoor Lover

Encourage your loved ones to stay sun safe year round! Temperatures may be cooler this time of year, but the sun can still damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen should be used as a second line of defense, behind sun protective clothing. Neutrogena is the favorite of dermatologists to provide sun protection for the whole family.

For the DIYer

Make it easy to capture memories by giving your loved one a Shutterfly gift card. He or she will have the opportunity to create a unique and special gift by uploading their favorite photos and choosing from pre-made designs. They can choose from a variety of items such as coffee mugs, calendars, photo books and more.

For BoysCoolibar Island Board Shorts

Our Boy’s Island Board Shorts and Long-sleeve Rash Guard is a must have for families who are planning a tropical winter getaway. This outfit is cool, yet sun safe for boys of all ages. He is sure to love boogie boarding and lounging around the resort in his new Coolibar.

 

For the New Year!

Photo: Fitbit Inc.

Cross that “hard to buy for person” off your list! A Fitbit is a great gift for anyone! Fitbit tracks a variety of health stats including activity, calories burned, heart rate and more. There is a variety of models to choose from designed for everyday, active or performance fitness levels. We love the new Fitbit jewelry from Tory Burch.

 

 

We hope you enjoy some of our favorite gifts this holiday season! Remember to stay sun safe and have fun doing what you love. Consider your shopping done and done!

 

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Wellness Warriors

What’s Your Ultimate Resort Destination?

Canyon Ranch Tucson - Guest Room

With the launch of our new Resort Collection, we’ve pondered the whole concept of the “resort experience.” Our new collection of colors and prints can help show what we decided. You’ll love the look right away. Once you slip into it, you’ll find it’s also about being comfortable – for wherever you go, whatever you’re doing and whenever you’re doing it.

Traveling to an actual resort is optional, but desirable. In fact, while we were dreaming up our Resort Collection, we dreamed up some of our favorite resort destinations. See if you agree!

Canyon Ranch,Tucson, Arizona

Canyon Ranch Tucson
Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

A unique and original blend of upscale comfort and deep well-being. This place has evolved with the times – once a cattle ranch, then a classic guest ranch, now a fitness spa resort in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Actually, it’s an all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa. That sounds impressive, and it is; Canyon ranch has been a driving force as the entire concept of a “health resort” has taken off.

Suggested look: Ocean Glimmer Antigua Tunic

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California

Cal a Vie Resort
Courtesy of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

For all of its hundreds – yes, hundreds – of spa treatments, fitness activities and mind-body-spirit classes, we can’t help but notice how simple and elemental this California health spa resort is. Particularly impressive is that the resort balances this active and/or meditative experience with a passion for fresh, local cuisine. And just for good measure, there’s golf at the resort’s Vista Valley Country Club.

Suggested look: Banded Fitness Tee with Swim Capris

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

Law
Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Everything you could ask for in a wellness retreat: a lake (in this case, Austin Lake) for Paddle Fit, Aqua Zumba or just a mild boat cruise; the Lakehouse Spa with two pools, steam rooms and a café; luxury guest and garden rooms; five course meals and more. Bonus: all of this is surrounded by the incomparable Texas Hill Country.

Suggested look: ZnO Sun Wrap outfit

 

Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

If you’re thinking about visiting a spa on an island, you’ll find that here. But around it you’ll also discover a world-class resort, and all that that implies: a tiered pool complex including a splash park, a fully-equipped fitness center (think LCD TV screens) and a championship golf course for starters. The resort also provides a variety of ways to explore the island, for you and your whole family.  

Suggested look: Sport Polo with Zip Off Sun Visor

Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico

La Casa Dorada Resort Los Cabos
Courtesy of la Casa Dorada Resort

This is a truly impressive getaway that you’ll have almost as much fun telling people about as you will on the actual trip. A highlight is the saltwater spa – if you can tear yourself away from the pools, the four restaurants, the luxurious accommodations and the best swimmable beach in Cabo. This is for the whole family, too – pets included.

Suggested look: Convertible Swim Shirt outfit

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Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Asks: What Does Yoga Mean to You?

Coolibar - Yoga

We’ve been thinking about yoga a lot lately. We can’t help it. When you’re promoting sun protection, health, happiness and peace of mind, yoga just naturally comes up.

Do you practice yoga? If you do, what does it mean to “practice yoga?”

At one extreme are the hardcore enthusiasts.  You may have heard that yoga can relieve stress, improve digestion, balance the metabolism and strengthen the immune system. These folks will tell you yoga is about cleansing the bioemotional self, toning the endocrinal system, coordinating the musculoskeletal structure, creating a union between our physical and emotional beings.  It decreases cortisol and adrenalin, which co-opt the production of vital hormones! It promotes and balances neurotransmitters, and inverted postures re-balance the pituitary and thyroid glands!

Corresponding to this knowledge is a full range of classes. There’s hot yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, power yoga, and the list goes on.

Other people, as we’ve read, just like wearing the clothes. This is okay too; we know that not everyone wearing a North Face jacket is an experienced High Alps mountain climber either. And when you’re trying to attain a fully integrated mind and body, total comfort certainly helps.

At Coolibar we think our understanding of yoga is pretty balanced between the neurobiologists and those who just look the part.

“I just needed a form of physical activity that I didn’t dread,” says Heather Olson, Wholesale Operations Manager at Coolibar. She says she’s been practicing yoga for about two years, drawn to it by a background in dance with its balance and flexibility. “It’s a way to get a workout – and have fun.”

Coolibar Yoga
Kelly Johnson in Coolibar Banded Fitness Tee, Active Swim Tights

Kelly Johnson, Coolibar Customer Service Manager, thinks so too. “It’s a slower pace of exercise,” she says. “I’m not the type of person who likes to go to the gym and pump weights and run on the treadmill. I like the mediation aspect, too, to calm my mind, re-center and relax.”

About that last part: yoga can be especially practical if you’re living what we might refer to as a full life.

“I get stressed out easily,” Kelly says. “And I have a five-year-old. So yoga is my alone time.”

What kind of yogi (that would be, “one who practices yoga”) are you? Tell us about it!

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Contests

We’re Giving Away a ZnO Sun Wrap!

Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap

ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED.

Coolibar has the light, comfortable sun protective fabric for any activity, any time of year. So we’re giving away one of our original ZnO Sun Wraps! It features ZnO – our most technically advanced fabric with tiny zinc oxide sun blocking particles permanently embedded into every fiber. It’s cool, soft, comfortable and always UPF 50+!

To Enter:  “Like” our ZnO Sun Wrap giveaway post on our Facebook page, and comment “I want to win ZnO”!

Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap Giveaway Official Rules: 

Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap Giveaway is open for entries on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. To enter, you must be 18 years of age or older. Open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. The winner will receive one (1) Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap (Product #01263),retail value $59.50. Winner will be chosen at random by Coolibar representatives. Winner will choose the Sun Wrap from available sizes and colors. Comments deemed inappropriate by Coolibar, or not owned by the posting individual, will be deleted and disqualified. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Coolibar, Inc. employees, employee family members and affiliates are not eligible to win. Rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar. Facebook is not affiliated with Coolibar, Inc. or this giveaway. Deadline for entry: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST.

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Educate Others Events

After 25 Years with Lupus, Still Going Strong

Jan Jundt - Coolibar 5K Lupus Walk

Can there be any disease as grueling and, often, mysterious as lupus?

Certainly not for Jan Jundt, 2014 ambassador for Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, who was diagnosed in 1989. “I thought at the time that it was arthritis,” Jan says. “I was having trouble getting my hands open, and walking stairs. I was really afraid it was arthritis – my family has a long history of arthritis.”

Back then it was very common even for doctors to diagnose lupus as something else, she says, and not just in her home town of Bismarck, North Dakota. “For years lupus was misdiagnosed completely,” says Jan, on the eve of the foundation’s 17th annual Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run – Twin Cities.

The Onset

Jan Jundt Coolibar Lupus 5K
Jan Jundt

Jan is married; her husband Dave recently retired from the North Dakota National Guard. Last spring the couple moved to Fargo, ND from Bismarck to be closer to their three grown daughters.

Also: 25 years ago, lupus nearly killed her.

“I thought it was arthritis,” Jan relates. “In a visit to my allergist he said: ‘go see a rheumatologist.’ The look on his face was, ‘you do it now.’” She got an appointment the following week – a miracle in itself. After tests were run, her rheumatologist called to say she had lupus and wanted to visit with her and her husband.  She scheduled a follow-up at the end of the next week.

“And I didn’t make that appointment,” Jan says. “The night before, I crashed. I had complete renal failure. Basically the only things functioning were my heart and my brain. They gave me 24 hours to live.

I don’t remember the next 10 days, and my husband says well, that’s a blessing. You don’t want to know.”

Another time, much more recently, she had another scare. “I had come down with pneumonia. I just thought it was my allergies, and my asthma. We were driving to Minneapolis and I collapsed. That’s the lupus; if you have a weakness in one spot, it just goes for it.”

What’s most striking about this is her positive, enthusiastic tone, even when the subject turns dark. How can you ensure that these frightening episodes do not happen? “You can’t,” she says.

What is Lupus?

If anything about lupus can be simple, here’s the simplest explanation – lupus causes the immune system to malfunction. It mistakenly starts creating auto-antibodies that normally guard the body against bacteria and viruses. Instead, they attack and destroy healthy tissue. This can result in a very wide range of symptoms – pain at the joints, fever, fatigue, headaches and sensitivity to the sun among them.

Lupus Walk for Hope, Plymouth, MN
Lupus Walk for Hope, Plymouth, MN

Like most other people, Jan knew none of this. Following her first harrowing episode, she started researching the disease.

“I could not get any information about lupus,” she says. “Every place I called, I was finding dead ends.”

The one certainty: there were lots of others suffering from lupus, and they likely had no place to go either.

The Support Group

Jan and her husband started a lupus support group 24 years ago in Bismarck, ND. She found a catalyst for it in the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, which provided the help needed to start the support group.

The group meets the second Thursday of every month. There are about 15 people in the group, Jan says, with a core of about a half dozen. The group first met at night, but switched to mid-days after fatigue became a problem. There are also frequent transportation issues in a community with lots of rural areas; “the community has been very good to us,” she says. “They help whenever they can.”

Team Coolibar at Lupus Walk
Part of Team Coolibar, Sept. 13

Still, the resource has become irreplaceable.  “I have learned the most from those who have lupus,” says Jan. “People come for different reasons. “Some people come when they’re not feeling good, and need some support. Others come when they are feeling good, and just want to be around people.”

Going Strong

Since her move to Fargo, North Dakota last May, Jan can no longer attend the group she started. But it’s still going strong. On Saturday, September 13, she walked along with Coolibar team members as the official ambassador for Lupus Foundation of Minnesota in the  Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run – Twin Cities.

“Our goal is to help one person,” she says. “If we can do that, we’ve done our job.”

For information on Coolibar sun protective clothing, visit our site!

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Coolibar Athletes Kaitlyn Price

Pro Golf Dream is on Hold – For Now

Kaitlyn Price - Golf

What does a Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athlete do when injury temporarily takes her out of the game? Switch sports, of course!

By Kaitlyn Price

Unfortunately, this summer hasn’t gone exactly as planned. As most of you know, injuries are a part of living an active lifestyle. While they never seem to come at a good time, they can, in the long run, make you stronger. This summer has been frustrating to say the least.

It started on a high: graduating college, playing well in my first events, and preparing for Q-school [the annual qualifying tournaments required for membership in pro golf tours such as the LPGA]. But sadly I have sustained a shoulder injury that will keep me from attending Q-school this year. While my dream of playing professionally is on hold for the moment, I am taking this time to rehab my shoulder and get back into fighting shape to give it a whirl again next year.

Since I have been taking a break from playing in tournaments and practicing I have had more time to do some other activities. One of the activities I have taken up is fishing. My brother is an avid fisherman and he takes me out on his boat to fish the Intracoastal Waterway.Kaitlyn Price - fish

Much like golf, fishing takes a lot of patience as well as long periods of time in the sun. The Marina Sun Hat and the Quarter Zip Long Sleeve Fitness Pullover have been great assets to a day on the water. The picture shows a black drum I caught while wearing my Quarter Zip Long Sleeve Fitness Pullover!

Although I was skeptical at first of wearing long sleeves in the summertime, I have been amazed at how well the Coolibar clothing keeps you cool and protects your skin from the sun. Coolibar clothing has definitely enhanced my wardrobe and keeps me looking good while staying cool and protected.

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Coolibar Athletes Valerie Stewart

The Athlete Within

Valerie Stewart - Kayak

By Valerie Stewart

In fourth grade I ruled on the four square court. NO one could knock me out of the server’s square. My family didn’t know and I didn’t receive any blue ribbons, but I knew and it made me feel great.

Thinking back, I realize that I took no specific pleasure in beating the other kids. The payoff was the sense of power that being the best gave me. In an era when parents and teachers didn’t constantly stroke and support children, it was up to us to find a sense of identity and pride. I see now that it was incredibly satisfying to beat all the boys at a time when girls weren’t encouraged to be athletes.

As an adult, what I don’t like about competition is making the other women feel badly when I beat them. What I do like is the sense of power and personal accomplishment that winning gives me. Many athletes say that they are really competing against themselves. Which is why timed competitions are so much more satisfying than judged ones; the former are not subjective, and athletes can accurately measure their own progress.Valerie Blog2 A

I define “athlete” as a person who has decided to commit to a physical activity, while working to improve their skills.  In other words, anyone who chooses to can be an athlete. You may be drawn to a sport, or you may want to try out various activities to find the right fit. Don’t worry about your age or past experience or what you “should” do;  if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.

I joined several kayaking groups last summer as a newbie, and am thrilled to have found another sport that I love. I’ll compete in some casual Class 1-2 kayaking events, but kayaking is primarily my safe and peaceful sport. A chance to discover the rivers, lakes, and bays of Northern California, while meeting lots of men and women over 40 who like to do the same thing. We share the delight of seeing eagles, herons, egrets, osprey, pelicans, geese, seals, otters, sea lions, turtles, even sharks and whales in their natural habitat as we float by. A year ago I didn’t realize that these experiences existed.

When I started snowboarding, I was totally unaware of snowboarding competitions. I hadn’t competed in anything since I was a kid in Horse 4H. But my willingness to try a new sport at an “old” age opened up a whole world of unforeseen experiences. I found myself competing on a national level against other women my age who also loved the sport. I produced two award-winning snowboarding videos, and interviewed pro boarders from around the world as they competed to qualify for snowboarding’s historic entry into the Olympics. I competed alongside Shaun White as he evolved from a promising nine-year-old into a multiple Olympic gold medalist. And I found a sport that expresses exactly who I am.

So be open, and ignore your doubts. And the doubts of others. You never know what life may bring if you’re ready to let it in.


Valerie’s Product Pick:

Valerie Stewart - Coolibar Swim Tights

If you thought you could never swim in public again because of your “imperfect” legs, you were wrong. Coolibar has introduced a new age of swimwear – the Active Swim Tight.  It comes in two styles; with or without an attached skirt.  And it’s offered in three lengths; above the knee, below the knee, and above the ankle. The SUNTECT® fabric is UPF 50+ and resists chlorine and saltwater. I own three of these, and will buy more when they’re offered in more colors.

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Expert Rx

How to Properly Help Protect Your Eyes From UV Exposure

By Susan Resnick, OD, FAAO, Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, New York

Throughout my career, I’ve seen thousands (maybe even tens of thousands!) of patients in my practice, and one of the most common items that links everyone together is the lack of understanding of the dangers that UV rays pose to the health of our eyes. I advocate for full body protection – broad spectrum sunscreen and UPF clothing for the skin, and comprehensive protection for the eyes.

But first, let me explain why UV exposure can potentially harm the health of your eyes. A number of studies have shown that the effects of UV radiation to the eyes are mostly cumulative, and UV exposure may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life. Once you, or your eye doctor, notices damage, it’s often too late to reverse it.

It’s also important to know that if it is daytime; your eyes are being exposed to UV rays. A cloudy day is no excuse for not protecting your eyes – it’s estimated that up to 80% of UV rays can pass through thin clouds1. Appropriate protection is also vital in all four seasons – while direct sunlight itself can be harmful, reflected UV rays can increase your UV exposure. For example, fresh snow reflects as much as 80% of UV rays2 and those rays can bounce up directly into the eyes.

So what should you do each day to help protect your eyes from the sun? Start with a wide-brimmed hat, like a sun hat or a baseball cap. The hat helps to block the sun from above, especially when it is highest in the sky (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

Second, high-quality, UV blocking sunglasses are essential. Not all sunglasses are equal, and UV blocking doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Pay attention to labels, and look for 100% UVA/UVB blocking. Sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV are OK too – you want to limit UV transmission to no more than 1 percent UVB and 1 percent UVA rays. Make sure to look for frames that wraparound the face, and cover the eyes from the eyebrow to the upper cheek.

For those who require vision correction, UV blocking contact lenses+* can offer an additional measure of UV protection. Not all contact lenses offer UV protection, and of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses is the only major brand which blocks approximately 97% of UVB and 81% of UVA rays as standard across the entire range of its products+*. Although UV-blocking contact lenses are beneficial in helping to protect against harmful UV rays, clinical studies have not been done to show they reduce the risk of any specific eye disease or condition. That’s why it is important to wear them as part of a comprehensive sun protection plan along your wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Talk to your eye doctor about UV protection, and for additional information, check out “The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know” at www.acuvue.com/sunandyoureyes.

1 Sunburn: Causes, Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sunburn/basics/causes/con-20031065

2 Global solar UV Index, World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/who271/en/print.html

 

Susan Resnick, OD, FAAO, is a partner at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates. She authors, lectures and consults in the areas of specialty contact lenses and emerging vision and eyecare technologies. In addition to her contact lens specialty, Dr. Resnick maintains a strong interest and participation in primary optometric care including binocular vision assessment and pediatric examinations. Dr. Resnick is an authoritative source for eye health and has been quoted in Women’s Health, FoxNews.com, Allure.com and Glamour.com, among others and serves as an advisor to the industry as a clinical investigator in the contact lens and pharmaceutical fields. Dr. Resnick is a member of the America Academy of Optometry and the Nassau County Optometric Society.  Dr. Resnick is a paid consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., which provided support for this content.

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Expert Rx Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Guest Post: A Call to Action from a Skin Cancer Survivor

Megan Ramey

NOTE: This post by Megan Ramey first appeared July 29 on Cancer Candor, a blog from Chris Hanson, President, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). It appeared on the same day that the US Surgeon General released a call to action to prevent skin cancer in which he called the disease a major public health problem. “I wanted impress upon my readers why it is so important that our nation has an action plan for dealing with this devastating cancer by sharing Megan’s powerful story,” Mr. Hanson said.

My name is Megan Ramey and I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma in 2010, just weeks before my 21st birthday. With blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin I am the walking definition of someone who should take extra precautions when it comes to UV exposure. Four years post diagnosis I look back on the choices I made and feel a large amount of regret for not being cautious enough. Melanoma is a unique cancer in that most cases directly results from our behavior. We can choose to protect ourselves in the sun and we can choose to stay away from tanning beds. I admit I did not take the risks seriously.

Growing up in Minnesota my family and I cherished our beautiful summers.  Whether we were at the lake or by my family pool we were outside from sun up to sun down. I used sunscreen here and there but not nearly enough to prevent several painful sunburns over the years. When I reached high school, I began using tanning beds before school dances, vacations and figure skating competitions. I thought that tanning beds were a safer way to obtain a tan. In college, going to the tanning salon was a common activity amongst my friends. Being tan was considered attractive.  Everyone was doing it. When you are young, you don’t think about the consequences of your actions and how they can impact your future. Had I been better educated about skin cancer (specifically melanoma) and taken the warnings seriously, my life could very well be entirely different from what is today.

When I was first diagnosed with melanoma, the summer between my junior and senior year of college became a whirlwind of scans, surgeries, oncology visits and one month of high dose immune building chemotherapy (interferon). Luckily all scans since my initial diagnosis have come back NED (or no evidence of disease), meaning I have no active cancer cells to worry about at the moment. Melanoma is tricky. Even if you are lucky enough to be labeled NED, it could reoccur at any moment. Knowing this, I made a choice to complete two years of low dose interferon in hopes that the medication will continue to help my immune system ward off active melanoma cells. Currently, I live my life in 6 month increments never knowing when the next scan will show trouble. A recurrence of melanoma is never far from my mind, and one of my biggest fears. My life at 25 is unlike anything that I could have imagined.

Melanoma awareness is an important part of my life. I am part of a local non-profit group called Melanoma Awareness Minnesota. This group is active in the community, participating in health fairs, expos and presenting to local high school students the dangers of melanoma. I recently had the opportunity to work with the ACS CAN here in Minnesota to pass the tanning legislation prohibiting minors from using commercial tanning beds. I enjoy sharing my story with anyone who will listen. When it comes to melanoma, education is key! Knowledge saves lives. The CDC and Surgeon General released today a call to action on skin cancer. Their support and assistance sends a strong message to the general public about just how dangerous and prevalent skin cancer can be. The numbers are staggering; millions of people every year are being diagnosed with melanoma. Something needs to change and I think this call to action is going to be a significant step in the right direction!

Megan Ramey is a courageous ACS CAN volunteer from Minnesota. At age 21, after several years of indoor tanning, Megan was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Megan bravely shares her story with teens with the hope that they will avoid indoor tanning salons and protect their skin from ultraviolet (UV) exposure. 

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