General Question

jdegrazia's avatar

How much ultraviolet light should I feed my eyes?

Asked by jdegrazia (266 points ) October 13th, 2008

Someone just told me it’s a good idea to expose your eyes to at least a little bit of UV light. He said it prevents nearsightedness, and he told me his vision got better while he was in the military and didn’t wear sunglasses. I wear sunglasses all the time, and underneath them, I wear contacts (which do or do not block UV rays?). Am I doomed to perpetually degenerating long distance vision? Or might I be able to condition myself back to 20/20 with a little extra time in the sun?

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5 Answers

marinelife's avatar

If you choose not to wear sunglasses, what you are likely to do is get cataracts or other damage:

” UVB rays are the ones that burn the skin and can damage the eyes. Combined with cold wind and snow, UVB has the potential to cause snow blindness (photokeratitis), a temporary (lasting 12 to 48 hours) but painful problem in the cornea of the eye.

Although not all scientists agree, there is some research that suggests that daily exposure to UVB in very bright sunlight over a period of many years may cause cataracts, a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye.

Experts also suspect that the primary cause of eye growths such as pingueculae or pterygia is exposure to UVB rays.”

Lightlyseared's avatar

To put it another way, no, staring at the sun will not correct your vision.

hoosier_banana's avatar

An Australian group has found that lack of sunlight is a major cause of myopia.

Lack of
light?

“The children with the worst eyesight did lots of near work and spent very little time outside. Interestingly, the study found no benefit from playing sports indoors. “The crucial factor was being outdoors,” says Rose.

“Time spent outdoors, as a protective factor, now appears to be the strongest environmental factor that has yet been documented.”

UV radiation is harmful if overexposed, but our bodies still need it to produce vitamin D.

These Guys have some eye exercises that are supposed to help. I saw several testimonials that the Bates Method of “sunning” provides very fast and noticeable results. Don’t be so quick to dismiss things that are unfamiliar, the world is a complex place.

Response moderated
bulldg's avatar

I have huge doubts about the statement that our eyes need some UV. This raises a huge number of questions.

1) I have not seen any peer reviewed articles proving or disproving this.
2) Which wavelengths if any are needed? UV is classified as typically 100 to 400 nM (NanoMeters) and broken down into UVA, UVB and UVC, UVC being the shortest wavelengths.
3) If kids stay indoors what do they do? Read, Color, Watch TV, all of which cause the eye to focus in the near field.
4) If kids go outside, they are likely using their distance vision a lot of the time and their eyes are getting exercised all the time.

This need a bunch more work!

Get your kids outdoors. Sunscreen is probably a good idea. o is fresh air an exercise.

Some reading:
http://ajwin.us/uvbnarrowband.com/index.php/2013/02/how-does-uvb-narrowband-compare-to-sunlight/

http://ajwin.us/uvbnarrowband.com/index.php/2010/03/tanning-beds-same-as-uvb-or-uvb-narrowband/

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