Sunshine has been called the best antidepressant, the best medicine, and the best disinfectant. We couldn’t survive or thrive without it.

Just make sure you’re soaking in those rays healthfully. “All things in moderation,” as Benjamin Franklin opined. Shore up your sunny activities by learning the good and bad sides of sunshine.

The Good

Natural sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D.

A little bit of sun exposure daily prompts your body to produce vitamin D. This is important because vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium, which builds bones, slows aging and keeps eyesight healthy. You may need as little as 10-30 minutes of midday sun exposure to meet your body’s requirements.

Sunshine reduces nearsightedness and light sensitivity.

Natural light is essential to healthy eye development in children and the overall sense of well-being in people of all ages. That same vitamin D that feeds healthy bones also helps prevent nearsightedness (myopia) and photophobia (light sensitivity).

A couple of hours outdoors does the body good for most people. Just remember to apply and reapply lotion with at least 30 SPF every hour or so.

Sunlight encourages better sleep!

Those rays of sunshine don’t just boost your energy and wakefulness during the day; they also help you sleep better at night. That’s because your body is more efficient at producing sleep-regulating melatonin at night after exposure to sunlight during the day.

The benefit to your eyes is multifold: Rested eyes have improved focus. More shut-eye means less dry eye. And less dry eye means less blurriness.



Have you ever been temporarily blinded after looking at the sun too directly or for too long? This is called photokeratitis, and it happens with overexposure to ultraviolet light. You can also experience a form of photokeratitis called snow blindness from the intense glare of sunlight off of the surface of snow. 

Risk of Eye Cancer

Consistent exposure to UV light can dramatically increase the risk of cancer over time. Eyes that are unprotected from these damaging rays are no exception.

Increased Risk of AMD and Cataracts

Constant UV exposure creates cumulative corneal damage and can also accelerate or increase the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration.

The Solution

Just as sunblock protects your skin from damaging UV rays, sunglasses protect your eyes from them. You can often pick up a pair of effective (and stylish) shades for under $10. Just include as many of these features as possible to improve protection:

  • Label that includes “UV 400 protection,” “UV absorption up to 400nm” or “100% UVA+UVB protection.”
  • Oversized style to block more indirect light from entering around the lenses
  • Wrap-around glasses, for the same reason
  • Polarized for glare reduction and clearer definition.

Bonus tip: Check in with your eye doctor at least once per year to check for damage that may need treatment. An ophthalmologist can advise you on the most effective protective eyewear, or even prescribe sunglasses that incorporate your eyeglasses prescription.


Eye Specialty Group offers patients a wide range of vision services, from specialized glaucoma treatment, laser cataract surgery and retina surgery to LASIK and eye reconstructive surgery. Vision correction procedures include Blade-Free iLASIK, PRK, Implantable Contact Lenses, Clear Lens Exchange and Blade-Free Laser Cataract surgery with Lifestyle IOLs. Our dedicated and caring professionals are here to provide the best possible care to you and your family. Contact us at (901) 685-2200 or visit us online at EyeSpecialtyGroup.com.