We’ve been told to stay away from the sun but why shun the sun when it offers a myriad of health benefits? Sun exposure has been found to help lower blood pressure through the activation of nitric oxide in the blood when sunlight comes in contact with our skin. The vitamin D we get from the sun significantly improves bone health, improving bone density and lowering the risk of fractures. Sun exposure also boosts our immune system, cures certain types of skin diseases, reduces the risks of certain types of cancer, and so on. So why hide from the sun?
Harmful Effects of the Sun to Our Eyes
While it is has been scientifically proven that sunshine offers many health benefits to be thankful for, it is also a well-known fact that too much exposure to it poses some risk. In fact, too much exposure to ultraviolet rays is still the leading cause of skin cancer. Also, health experts and ophthalmologists have confirmed that strong exposure to UV rays damages the eyes. It can cause eye diseases such as cataracts, abnormal growth, macular degeneration, photokeratitis (painful inflammation of the cornea/also called eye-sunburn), temporary loss of vision, and even cancer.
Some eye diseases such as cataract and eye cancers may take many years to manifest but continuous exposure without any protection from the sun can speed up the damage. The risk of damage to our eyes and skin from UV radiation is cumulative – harmful effects continue to develop as we expose ourselves in the sun all through our lifetime.
Protecting Our Eyes from Harmful UV Rays
People from all walks of life and of all ages should take serious precaution when going outdoors. Provide protection for yourself and most especially children as they generally spend a lot of time out in the sun compared to adults. Also, children are more sensitive and susceptible to eye damage since they have clearer vision, attracting more UV rays to deeply penetrate their young eyes. With this, the best way to protect ourselves from retinal damage is by using sunglasses and hats. Choose sunglasses that are of excellent quality and with lenses that can effectively block 100 percent harmful UV rays. You can visit an optician for an expert advice on the best sunglasses for you and the kids. Also, wearing broad-brimmed hats further reduces ultraviolet exposure. So love your eyes by protecting them at all cost.