The bronze skin of summertime might be a popular trend in our society, but the risks taken to obtain it might have you thinking twice about crawling into an indoor tanning bed. Not only are tanning beds unsafe for our skin, but our eyes endure damage as well.
Indoor Tanning Beds Are Not Safe
Indoor tanning beds are not a safe or preferred method for tanning. Their UV rays are so high and intense (up to 100 times the UV radiation exposure that we would get by simply going outside) that doctors and dermatologists took proactive measures to lobby to Congress and the World Health Organization concerning the heightened risk they pose for skin cancer. Not only are tanning beds unsafe for our skin, but our eyes endure damage as well.
Eye Damage Caused By Tanning Beds
Exposure to UV radiation compiles and compounds over time, so even though using a tanning bed for a short amount of time doesn’t seem or feel like it is harming our eyes, over time, the damage will build up. Even trying to block the UV radiation by closing our eyes while in an indoor tanning bed will not protect us from the powerful UV radiation emitted. Some of the potential harmful effects of an indoor tanning bed on our eyes are the following:
- Photokeratitis (sunburn to the cornea of the eye) can occur and cause very painful symptoms of a burning sensation, watery or runny eyes, a gritty feeling behind the eyelid that won’t go away, and redness of the eye.
- Tanning beds can contribute to dry eye, which can develop into a chronic situation that puts the eyes at risk for more frequent infections.
- Overtime tanning beds increase the likelihood of the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Both of these sight-threatening conditions are typically age related. The repeated UV radiation exposure of tanning beds, however, rapidly increases the rate of development for both of these unfortunate conditions.
We love our patients and want to help all of you live your best healthiest lives. It is best to not expose yourself to unnecessary UV radiation for the purpose of tanning, but if you choose to tan, please take safety measures and protect yourself from the damage that indoor tanning beds can do to your eyes and overall health. We care about you!