How Does the Sun Affect Your Eyes?
Summer is a season for spending as much time outside as possible – but before you grab that sunscreen, take a moment to consider: How does the sun affect your eyes? And how can you stay safe while enjoying your summer?
3 Surprising Ways the Sun Affects Your Eyes
1. Excessive exposure can cause damage to eyesight.
Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays isn’t just bad for your skin; it can also be particularly damaging to your eyesight. Like with your skin, your sun can be vulnerable to sunburns; additionally, if you look directly at the sun for too long, you could develop what’s known as solar retinopathy. This condition occurs when the sun’s rays have caused (often irreversible) damage to the eye’s retina.
We recommend wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and hats if you’re going to spend a lot of time outside. And definitely don’t look directly at the sun!
2. Sunlight can help improve your sleep quality.
Not all sun exposure is necessarily bad for your eyes; in fact, there have been some studies to show that regular exposure to natural light can help us get sound sleep. Make a point to spend at least twenty minutes outside each day, as even this short period of time can help you get the natural sunlight you need to enjoy a full night’s sleep.
3. Time spent outside can help with nearsightedness.
Another surprising benefit of sunlight is that it can help prevent nearsightedness in children. There has been some research to show that spending more time outside in natural light can cut the risk of developing nearsightedness. Parents should encourage their children to play outside – but don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen!
Take the Next Step
Ready to enjoy healthy and happy eyesight, as well as the summer sun? Schedule a consultation with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA today. Dr. Griffiths can develop a plan that helps protect your vision for years to come. 703-834-9777