How moderate time in the sun can help fight myopia (short-sighteness)

Many research studies have found that vitamin D levels may relate to severity of myopia. Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is a condition in which light coming into the eye doesn’t focus correctly. People with myopia are unable to see distant objects in focus, but can see objects up close in focus.

The sun plays a vital role in maintaining good health, both mental and physical. It is the only natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes generalised muscle weakness, muscle aches, bone aches and pains but also can precipitate and exacerbate osteoporosis and myopia(short-sightedness) This is becoming a growing epidemic world-wide. There are ongoing studies investigating causative factors of myopia and means of controlling it.

Though control is a challenge, it was found that time spent in sunlight (such as in outdoor activities), decreased the onset by just over 30%. Sensible sun exposure (usually 5–10 min per day of exposure on face, hands, arms and legs, 2 or 3 times per week) plus increased dietary and supplemental vitamin D intakes are reasonable approaches to guarantee vitamin D sufficiency.

Darker sunglasses does not mean more protection from the sun’s dangerous UV (Ultra Violet Rays)

UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves. Research has shown that long hours in the sun without protecting your eyes increase your chances of developing certain eye diseases, such as cataracts, carcinomas of the eyelids and macular degeneration.

Ideally sunglasses need to provide 100% UV protection. Large-framed and wrap-around sunglasses are more likely to protect your eyes from light coming in from different angles. Darker glasses are not necessarily better because UV protection comes from an invisible chemical in or applied to the lenses, not from the color or darkness of the lenses.

Too much sun can affect your sleep.

Sun exposure is good for you if taken in moderation. As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. During sleep the eyes also clear out irritants such as dust, allergens or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Some research suggests that light-sensitive cells in the eye are important to our ability to regulate wake-sleep cycles. This may be more critical as we age, when more people have problems with insomnia. While it’s important that we protect our eyes from overexposure to UV light, our eyes also need minimal exposure to natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.

Kids playing outdoor may help prevent nearsightedness.

With the digital age upon us, kids tend to spend more and more time indoors, in front of their computers, televisions, mobile phones and tablets.

Research shows that children who spend more time outside exposed to daylight may reduce their risk of developing nearsightedness. So not only is exercise great for eye health, but now it seems that getting that exercise while outside may be additionally beneficial.

Taking your children outside to play may not only help lower their risk for nearsightedness, but will also teach them good habits for a lifetime of eye health.

6 things to consider when purchasing sunglasses

1. Make it 100% UV Protection.
The single most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses to protect your eyes is a sticker or tag indicating that they block 100 percent of UV rays. However, fewer than half of people buying sunglasses bother to check whether the lenses protect the eyes from ultraviolet light, according to the Academy’s 2014 national sun safety survey.

2. The bigger the better.
The more coverage from sunglasses, the less sun damage inflicted on the eyes. Consider buying oversized glasses or wraparound-style glasses, which help cut down on UV entering the eye from the side.

3. Darker lenses don’t necessarily protect more
While very dark lenses may look cool, they do not necessarily block more UV rays.

4. Colour doesn’t matter.
Some sunglasses come with amber, green or gray lenses. They do not block more sun but can increase contrast, which may be useful for athletes who play sports such as baseball or golf.

5. Polarised lenses cut glare, not UV
Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavement. This does not offer more protection from the sun, but can make activities like driving or being on the water safer or more enjoyable.

6. Cost should not be a factor
Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot of money to work well. Less expensive pairs marked as 100 percent UV-blocking can be just as effective as pricier options.