Posts Tagged ‘sun’
BY JETAL PATEL, O.D.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and about 65 to 90 percent of melanomas are caused by ultraviolet rays. We know the importance of protecting our skin from these harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but protecting our eyes and the sensitive skin around our eyes is equally important.
Ultraviolet rays are an invisible form of radiation emitted from the sun, tanning beds, welding machines, lasers, and sunlamps. The three types of UV rays are ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC).
• UVA is the most common kind of radiation at the earth’s surface. UVA rays can pass through the cornea and reach the lens and retina inside the eye.
• Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, so they are less common at the earth’s surface than UVA rays. UVB rays don’t reach as far into the skin as UVA rays, but they can still be damaging. UVB radiation stimulates the production of melanin (a skin pigment), causing the skin to darken, creating a suntan. But in higher doses, UVB rays cause sunburn that increases the risk of skin cancer. UVB rays also cause skin discolorations, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging of the skin.
• UVC rays are very dangerous, but they are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth’s surface.
Extended exposure to UV rays has been linked to eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygium, and photokeratitis. Too much exposure to UV rays can also change skin elasticity, cause premature aging, and can lead to skin cancer.
By Lexie Runge
Women throughout the Valley are discovering that their frequent fatigue is not just a result of stress or lack of sleep – it is actually linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is fortified in a variety of foods, but we get a majority of our vitamin D from the sun’s UVB rays. According to Scottsdale Holistic Health, sunlight exposure accounts for 90 percent of your body’s vitamin D levels. Simply living in a sunny state like Arizona does not guarantee that you’ll receive the proper amounts of vitamin D. In fact, many Arizona residents are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, as people have become more than diligent about protecting themselves from the sun’s rays.
It is true that excessive amounts of sunlight can be linked to skin cancer, but a mere 15 to 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen protection can be good for you. There is no need to feel guilty about getting some sun on a Saturday, just do so in moderation.