The sun can be both friend and foe. A warm, sunny day can improve mood and increase levels of vitamin D in the body. Exposure to sunlight during the day also can help regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, known as the circadian rhythm. However, overexposure to the sun can be dangerous as well.
Many people recognize that exposure to the sun can lead to sunburn and long-standing skin damage, but they may not realize that the eyes also are susceptible to damage caused by the sun. The eye health resource All About Vision warns that extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to significant eye problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pinguecula, pterygia, and photokeratitis. UV rays come in three types: A, B and C. The atmosphere’s ozone layer blocks virtually all UVC rays, which are the most potent, but UVA and UVB can be dangerous when exposure to the sun is significant.