There are many health risks associated with indoor tanning. Most people are aware that using a tanning bed can drastically increase their risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. What some do not realize is that there are other risks associated with tanning. Can it damage your eyes if you don’t use tanning goggles? Here’s what you should know about why you should always use eye protection when you go indoor tanning.
Reasons to Wear Tanning Goggles
Tanning goggles are designed to protect your eyes from UV rays in tanning beds, but many people choose not to use them because they do not want tan lines on their face. However, there are a few reasons to wear eye protection when tanning indoors. Here are some things to take into consideration.
1. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, tanning beds have been linked to cancer of the eye. Though there are often no symptoms except for a dark spot in the eye, this problem can cause a decrease in vision and lead to eventual blindness if the problem is not treated. Eye cancer is a form of melanoma and can be fatal.
2. Failing to protect your eyes from the UV rays in tanning beds can also cause irreversible damage to your eyes, including blindness. Since eyelid skin is so thin, closing your eyes is not enough to protect you from the harmful UV rays. Blindness can occur because tanning beds can cause you to develop cataracts, which can cause vision problems and blindness if they are left untreated. Cataract surgery is very expensive.
3. Exposure to UV rays in tanning beds can increase your risk of both color blindness and night blindness. Though you may not go blind, you might not be able to differentiate between different colors or may have a hard time making out images in the middle of the night.
All of the reasons make indoor tanning without eye protection not worth it. By choosing to wear tanning goggles, you will be able to reduce your risk of all of these eye problems. Both your eyes and the skin surrounding your eyes will be protected by tanning goggles, which is why they can sometimes lead to tan lines. To reduce tan lines due to eye protection, consider opting for a strapless variety. However, it is best to wear tanning goggles at all times when you are exposed to the UV rays in tanning beds.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays.”