Have you ever looked at the mighty sun? Are you aware of the damaging effects of bright Sunlight? Certainly, Yes. Because we daily encounter the bright light of the glorious Sun and its flashy rays. But do you know that UV light can cause retinal damage just like the solar eclipse or electric arc?
What happens if you look at UV light? Looking at UV light is not safe whether it comes from the sun or other sources. It’s dangerous for your eyes and skin and may cause eye damage, macular degeneration, myopia, premature aging, skin cancer, and many other health issues.
Obviously, UV light is very damaging to your eyes and skin. It’s a culprit behind corneal burns, wrinkles, sunburns, suntan, and even skin cancer. But some benefits of UV light are undeniable. For example, it’s a good source of light, and Vitamin D, and it’s also carefully used as a germicidal, as a therapy for some skin problems, and in other medical conditions. Indeed Nature has created everything with a purpose.
Let’s probe into the article!
What is UV light
Naturally, UV Light or Ultraviolet light is present in sunlight. It is a type of electromagnetic radiation with a broad range of wavelengths. UV light with 10nm to 400nm wavelengths is shorter than that of visible light but longer than X-rays. Therefore, it’s not visible to humans. Solar Ultraviolet light makes up 10% of the total electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun.
But UV light is also produced by other sources like welding arcs, tanning lamps, germicidal UV lighting, black lights, and mercury-vapor lamps.
Is UV Light Visible
Generally, UV light is invisible to the human eye. Because UV has a shorter wavelength than visible light. But in extremely rare cases, people who are born without a lens or removed a lens may see near-UV as a whitish-violet or whitish-blue light.
Moreover, under specific conditions, children and young ones can perceive UV light around 310 nm wavelength. However near-UV light is visible to insects, fish, birds, and some mammals.
What Happens If You Accidentally Look At UV Light
Looking at the UV light of the sun is very similar to the welding arc. But a glance of UV light will bring no serious damage.
No need to panic, if you accidentally look at the UV light for a short time. You might get corneal sunburn temporarily that will heal up soon. Looking at the intense UV light for a longer period of more than 10 seconds can damage your eyes including retinal damage, cataract, and myopia.
However, exposure to UV light for a long duration can promote the aging of your eyes as well as increase the risk of many eye diseases.
Is It Dangerous to Look At UV Light
What happens when you look at UV light?
Verily, a bright light that can be focused by our eyes is always dangerous to look at. Uv light is bright enough to cause various health issues related to skin and eyes.
UV light is largely responsible for suntans and sunburns. However, when you look at the bright glare of UV rays directly either for a short span or longer, UV light can harm your vision and result in various eye diseases such as corneal sunburn, and pterygium.
UV light is harmful to everyone, especially children and young adults who are more at risk for eye damage from UV radiation.
What Happens When You Are Exposed To UV Light
Though exposure to UV light poses many health benefits including the production of vitamin D and increased energy level. But intense UV light is quite damaging to human health and other material.
Moderate and well-protected exposure to UV light is a fine source to get vitamin D and it also reduces anxiety and leaves a positive impact on mood. Vitamin D helps to regulate blood pressure, insulin secretion, calcium metabolism, and immunity.
However, vitamin D lamps or sunlamps that emit UVB light, are also useful to get vitamin D. Yet natural sunlight and food are better options to obtain vitamin D. But don’t forget to apply sunblock while taking a sunbath.
What Happens When You Stare At UV Light
No doubt, UV light is not safe to stare at any cost even if it comes from other sources like tanning lamps, eclectic arc, and germicidal lamps.
When you stare at the solar or other UV lights without protecting your eyes, the radiation of Ultraviolet light burns your retina and other exposed tissue. It results in the aging of your eyes, loss of vision, and skin cancer around your eyelids.
Never stare at the dazzling UV light because it can make your eyes sensitive to light and can lead to flash arc and all other potential chronic damages to your eyes.
Can Overexposure to UV Light & Bulbs Damage Your Eyes
No doubt, exposure to UV light is harmful whether it comes from the sun, UV bulbs, or any other source. It is very significant to protect your eyes against ultraviolet radiation just as you protect your skin.
Hence UV light bulbs are equally harmful just like the sun for your eyes. For indoor UV light, you must wear eyeglasses with UV-protective coating.
When you spend more time around UV light you are more likely to affect your eyes. To get protection from UVA & UVB light you must wear sunglasses and a hat in outdoor activities.
Is Radiation Of Sun Dangerous to Human Eyes
What is the limit of UV light exposure?
The ultraviolet radiation from the sun is hazardous to your eyes and skin. But the risk increases especially when the sunlight is strongest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
While the UV light at the time of rising sun is as soothing and beneficial to your skin as it is at the time of sunset. But even at that time, the flashy sun is not safe to look at because it can cause arc eye or flash burn.
In all situations, whether it is cloudy you can only have a glance at the glorious sun.
How Does Ultraviolet Light Damage Your Eyes
Certainly, Ultraviolet light holds strong radiation that can affect your skin and eyes as well.
Exposure to UV light without eye protection increases the risk of eye diseases that leads to blindness. Whereas overexposure to UV rays can cause serious health problems such as photokeratitis corneal damage, and skin cancer.
Fair-skinned people are more at risk during the high index time 10:am to 2:pm because they can get sunburn only in 10 minutes. Thus UV radiation is the main cause of skin cancer in many countries including the USA.
Is UV LIght Save
All types of UV light are harmful. However, the effects of UV light depend on its source.
Solar UV light consists of three types of radiation; UVA, UVB, and UVC. Although UVC is the most destructive but fortunately, it’s absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Mostly, we get exposed to UVA rays every day whereas UVB rays are more damaging when we are exposed to them. UVB rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage the DNA and lead to sunburn, wrinkles, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Signs of UV Light Exposure and Its Treatment
Frequent exposure to direct UV light can make you sick. You can experience darkening of the skin, wrinkles, sunburn, solar keratitis, redness and tearing of your eyes, temporary vision loss, and premature aging.
Here are some tips that are effective to reduce the effects of UV light:
- Protect yourself from more exposure till full recovery.
- Put a cold cloth over your eyes and affected skin to reduce inflammation for 10 – 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day.
- Be careful, never use chemical cooling pads on your eyes and around your eyes.
- Don’t use ice directly, instead use small ice packs wrapped in cotton cloth.
- Visit your doctor and follow the instructions carefully.
For more clarity about what happens if you look at UV Light just check out this video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Go Blind From Looking at UV Light?
No doubt, looking at UV light for a short duration promotes the aging of your eyes and results in low vision. However, overexposure to direct Ultraviolet rays for a long duration can lead to snow blindness, sunburn, photokeratitis, and temporary vision loss. It’s a painful condition and must be treated properly.
How to Protect Your Eyes From UV Light?
Surely, moderate exposure to Ultraviolet light is necessary for healthy bones and better health. But be careful while driving, swimming, and in other outdoor activities. Always use sunglasses, a sunhat, and a good sunscreen to protect your eyes and skin from the potential damage from strong UV radiation.
Which Type of Radiation is More Harmful?
Since UV light consists of three types of radiation but the UVC is the most harmful type of radiation. But thanks to the ozone layer, it is entirely filtered by our atmosphere and is blocked there. So it can’t reach our Earth’s surface.
We may conclude that Ultraviolet light is dangerous to your eyes and skin if you expose to UV radiation without protection. During outdoor activities and sports, you should follow protective measures to prevent the potential damage caused by UV radiation. Plus, minimize the UV exposure between the peak hours 10: am to 4: pm.
It’s very essential to be careful and well-protected when you move around UV light to avoid sunburn, corneal damage, arc eye, suntan, and cancer. But keep in mind sunlight is not all bad as it has some benefits too. So, it is good to spend some time outside with Mother Nature at the time of rising sun and sunset. But stay protected to stay healthy.