No Eyewear! Is It Worth The Risk

The earth's ozone layer is what keeps us from burning up. There's a hole in the ozone layer, and if it continues to grow, the sun's ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that reaches Earth will become less and less filtered. If that happens, it will change the way plants function and reproduce. At the same time that our food sources begin to die off, the number of cases of cataracts that lead to blindness will increase dramatically. Without the ozone layer, our living planet will eventually die. We simply can't live without its protection from the sun's powerful UV rays.

Although there isn't much you alone can do to protect the ozone layer, there's plenty you can do to protect your eyes from corneal burns. Because corneal burns are the No. 1 reason indoor tanners visit emergency rooms after tanning, it makes good sense to wear eye protection every time you tan. Each year 12,000 people are sent to the emergency room with eye burns from unprotected tanning sessions?

When your eyes are sunburned, it's called photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is a big word that means you've burned the cornea, or the outermost layer of your eyeball. Though the pain associated with a corneal burn is thought by some to feel like sand or dirt in the eye, it's actually the cornea peeling. Other symptoms include watery eyes ,inþammation of the eyeball's surface, moderate to severe pain, blurred or cloudy vision, light sensitivity, reddening of the eye, twitching around the eye, and reduced pupil size. A corneal burn can happen in a single tanning session, with your eyes closed.

Over 16 million people are blind because of cataracts. Tens of thousands will lose their sight and millions more will have poor vision because of cataracts, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. "Ultraviolet light can accelerate the aging process, and we see cataracts in much younger people," says Dr. Mark Kimpel, an ophthalmologist with Indiana University Medical Center. "I constantly tell young people that they might not see the damage now, but it's like sunburn; the damage is accumulating for later." Dr. Kimpel, an indoor tanner, strongly recommends wearing eye protection when tanning indoors and UV-block sunglasses outdoors.

The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that the ultraviolet (UV) light from sunlight or tanning lamps penetrates the thin skin of the eyelid. Unprotected UV exposure causes cataracts by creating changes in the lens and is also responsible for macular degeneration, which causes blindness. Ultraviolet over-exposure is responsible for creating oxygen-free radicals, called oxidants, which are unstable molecules that can cause cataracts. If you're a smoker, heavy drinker or take certain drugs, you have an even higher chance of developing cataracts, as you'll have more oxidants running around in your body.

Though you may be able to regain your vision with surgeries, cataracts can never be cured. Always wear FDA compliant eye protection when tanning indoors and UV-Block sunglasses outdoors (UV-Block certified or labeled "UV 400) to protect your eyes and help prevent cataracts and corneal burns.

info from Eyepro, makers of Wink-Ease disposable eyewear

Unprotected eyes are at risk for loss of night vision, loss of color vision, loss of visual acuity, increased light sensitivity, and pain and swelling resulting from corneal burns. Only FDA compliant eyewear will filter out both uv-a and uv-b light. Failure to use protective eyewear while tanning can lead to brunescent cataracts and may result in damage to the cornea and retina of the eyes. Merely closing your eyes will not protect them from uv penetration. The eyelids are too thin to prevent uv penetration. Isn't your eyesight too valuable to compromise?
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Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

Copyright © 2009-2013 • Ray Allard • All Rights Reserved
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