Dead-Set On Hitting The Tanning Bed This Summer? How To Keep Your Eyes Safe

You know that tanning beds aren’t recommended by health experts — but if you’ve decided you’re going to do it anyway, it’s important that you take necessary precautions to keep your eyes safe. Here, we’ll explore how tanning beds can potentially hurt your eyes, and what you can do to protect your vision.

Tanning Beds And Your Eyes

Just like spending a lot of time in the sun, spending time in a tanning bed can cause eye damage. The UV rays you experience in a tanning bed are far stronger (up to 100x stronger) than that of the sun, which means that damage can occur quickly.

Many people who use tanning beds have experienced the sunburn that can accompany a too-long tanning session. While sunburn to the eyelids is a concern, UV rays from a tanning bed can damage the eye itself as well.

Both eye cancer and cataracts are related to UV damage, according to experts. UV damage adds up over time. It’s especially important for young people to avoid tanning beds and excessive time in the sun.

Staying Safe

If you do choose to use a tanning bed against expert advice, it’s imperative that you protect your eyes. Closing your eyes isn’t enough to protect you from the harmful UV rays of a tanning bed. Eyewear with UV protectant is key to ensure that your eyes stay as safe as possible from the harmful rays of a tanning bed.

It’s also smart to limit your tanning bed use as much as possible. Going to the tanning bed one or two times isn’t nearly as likely to cause long-term damage as hitting up the tanning salon day after day throughout your lifetime.

Of course, it’s important that you get regular skin cancer checks, especially if you tan regularly. You’ll also want to let your eye doctor know that you use tanning beds, allowing them to screen you for related conditions and talk with you about any additional precautions you need to take to keep your eyes safe when you go tanning.

Experiencing Eye Discomfort After Tanning?

Your skin can get burned from using a tanning bed, and it’s possible for your corneas (the clear covering of your eyeball) to suffer the same fate. Most people notice the symptoms of a cornea burn — such as a bloodshot appearance, blurry vision, and the sensation that something is in the eye — six to twelve hours after they finished tanning. If you think you may be experiencing a cornea burn, be sure to reach out to your eye doctor.