Indoor tanning beds are infamous for their dangerous effects on skin. What most people don't realize is that the very thing in tanning beds that causes skin cancer (ultraviolet radiation) can also damage your vision.
Indoor Tanning Is Risky Business
Indoor tanning initially gained its popularity as an easy way to maintain that bronze glow many seek to develop during the summer months. Awareness of how dangerous tanning beds are, however, did not catch on as fast as the beds themselves. Ultraviolet rays produced by the lamps in tanning beds present serious health risks. In fact, people who use indoor tanning beds are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never used them.
Unfortunately, few people make the effort to protect their skin while indoor tanning, let alone their eyes.
The Effects Indoor Tanning Beds Have on Eyes
Indoor tanning beds pose a more serious threat to health than we may realize. Recently, a group of eye doctors and other medical professionals highlighted the World Health Organization's classification of tanning beds as a Group 1 carcinogenic to humans—the highest cancer risk category.
Immediate effects of direct and/or prolonged UV exposure to the eyes are cataracts and photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is similar to a sunburn of the cornea and surrounding portions of the eye—including the lining of our eyelids. This painful condition can result in eyelid twitches, constricted pupils, tearing, and many other uncomfortable symptoms.
We Care About Protecting Your Vision
Whether you enjoy laying out on the beach or you prefer visiting the tanning salon from time to time, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your vision health. As your lifelong vision partner, we are committed to protecting your vision and whole body health so you can continue to enjoy a happy, healthy lifestyle. If you have any questions or you’d like to learn more about the harmful effects of indoor tanning, schedule an appointment with one of our Vision Source® partners or leave a comment below!