How Tanning Beds Effect Your Eyes

As you know, tanning is more than just being tan. Using an indoor tanning bed can cause some health risks if you do not use one properly. The ultraviolet, or UV, rays can be very damaging to a person. Many people think that it only affects their skin, when in fact it can damage your eyes as well. Often times people are being put at risk and have no idea. Tanning bed companies can some time get too caught up in making money that they forget the importance of proper use of the beds. It is important to not only use tanning lotions for your skin, but to use protective goggles as well.  Another important tip is to make sure the salon you are using disinfects the bed after each use.  They should also change out the bad bulbs when needed and monitor the amount of time each person is using the beds.  Not every tanning bed enforces the use of goggles so it is your personal responsibility to make sure you are using them each time.

It is just as important to know how to use the tanning bed accessories as it is to just use them.  Most people are aware that if you don’t use goggles you could end up with wrinkles around your eyes but there are much more serious health issues involved than just the appearance of ones face. To appropriately use the accessories that go along with tanning it is imported to follow the directions of each product. If you have any questions about certain goggles it is important to ask someone who works at the salon and knows what they are doing. Tanning goggles come in multiple colors and shapes and have an attachable strap for proper wear. It is very important to find a pair that fits your face and that are not cracked at all. The more expensive goggles may seem like a waste of money, but you only have one set of eyes. You want to take the best care of them as you can.

Some people wonder why you don’t wear goggles when tanning outdoors. Well, the Health Physics Society says outside in the sun, your eyebrows shield your eyes somewhat from the sun’s damaging rays, but in a tanning bed, UV radiation has near direct contact with your eyes. Also, a majority of the time a person spends outside in the summer they are most likely wearing sunglasses or a hat to protect their eyes. Another myth people tend to believe is that if you just close your eyes in the bed you will be fine. That is false. The UV rays are too strong and your eyelids are too thin to protect your eyes. Your eyelids only protect you against about 25% of the UV rays.  Draping a towel across your face doesn’t block the UV rays either, it merely filters it. It is very important to wear eye protection.

There are some short term and some long term effects of not wearing the goggles in tanning beds.  Blurred vision can occur from not wearing your goggles a few times. You may also notice puffy eyelids, red-itchy eyes, watery eyes, and sunburnt eyelids.  You are also putting yourself at risk for burns to the cornea, the part of your eye you see through, cataracts, and retinal damage. Even though our eyes are one of the fastest healing parts of your body they are also one of the most important.  The long term effects of tanning without goggles can be much more severe.  You may encounter temporary loss of sight.  You can also develop muscular degeneration, or conjunctivitis.  Conjunctivitis will cause your tear glands to work overtime causing crusty substance to develop around the eye.  This can impair your vision.  Remember, the more serious problems such as cataracts or retinal damage can only be fixed through surgery.  The most serious effect of not using the goggles is malignant melanoma, cancer of the eye.  The only prevention there really is, is to use the goggles.

Some tips on using tanning goggles are to never use tanning goggles from someone else. Make sure you always use your own.  If you are sharing with someone germs that can cause infections like pink eye are easily transmitted. Try to clean your goggles on a regular basis. Just like everything else they do collect germs. Make sure you buy goggles that stay on your eyes and protect your entire eye. It is very important to take care of your body, especially your eyes.

Is there any current research being done to make tanning beds less harmful on one’s eyes? What other tanning tips do you have to protect your eyes? Explain why or why not the benefits of tanning outweigh the risks? Include any other suggestions you have or further knowledge of damage and prevention.

4 thoughts on “How Tanning Beds Effect Your Eyes

  1. Tanning in a tanning bed can cause damage to more than just your skin and eyes. It can cause changes in your brain activity also. Often times your exposer to the UV rays give off a chance of causing addiction. Tanning causes less activity in parts of the brain, such as the dorsal straitum, the left anterior insula, and a part of the orbitofrontal cortex. Indoor tanning can also effect your hair. When tanning indoors it may cause hair to dry out just as it causes skin to dry out. Also it may cause your hair color to lighten up. Indoor tanning also causes grey hairs to shine through, so you may not want to tan too much.

  2. Yes, it’s true that tanning beds are bad for many reasonsing. Some of these reasons include: bad night vision, loss of color perception, Macular degeneration, cataracts, and plerygium. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it can also lead to skin cancer and damage elastin fibers and dermal blood vessels. Not only that, but tanning can also cause blotchy skin discolorations. All of this is very important to consider while deciding whether or not to go tanning, you might also want to think about the some of the lesser reasons why tanning bed are good for you. One is that they help increase the amount of vitamin D your body produces and absorbs. Another reason is the privacy you get from using a tanning bed. Now that isn’t any health concern, it is very benificial to many self-concious people. While these are just a few of the reasons why tanning is both good and bad, there are other alternatives to use such as lotions and wipes.

  3. Not only can your eyes be effect by the UV rays of the tanning beds but, your skin can also be affected. Tanning has been proven as one of the causes for skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen and tanning in moderation can help you protect yourself from sunburns and skin cancer. Using a tanning bed may be safer than being outdoors because you can control the amount of time your skin is exposed to the sun. Tanning too often can also increase the risks of sunburn, skin cancer, and wrinkling. Tan in moderation, use eye protection, and sunscreen for the safest tan.

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