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Optometrist warns against dangerous TikTok sun gazing trend

A new trend has taken to TikTok where people claim that ‘sun gazing’ can strengthen your eyesight by taking in UVB rays.

The trend shares that UVB rays have health benefits and contributes to Vitamin D production and eye health, and all you have to do is stare directly into the sun following either one of two methods:

  1. During the first and last 15 minutes of sunlight of the day, when the sun is the furthest away from earth, take out your contact lenses and stare directly at the sun for 5 to 10 seconds, building this duration up over time.

  1. The second trend is performed at midday and involves taking out your contact lenses and staring directly at the sun with your eyes closed.

As UVB rays can’t penetrate glass, the TikTok trend is dangerously instructing people to remove their contact lenses before sun gazing.

Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts warns, “There is no scientific evidence to support that sun gazing is safe. What we do know is that the sun can cause damage to the skin and eyes.”

She adds: “Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is classified into 3 types: UVA, UVB and UVC:

  • UVA has the longest wavelengths and can reach the lens and retina, increasing the risk of cataract and retinal eye conditions.

  • UVB has medium wavelengths and can cause changes to the skin which can lead to skin burn and even cancer.

  • UVC has the shortest and most damaging wavelengths. They are blocked by the earth’s atmosphere and luckily, they do not reach us directly.

UV rays are damaging, and care must be taken when exposed to these harmful rays. It is important to protect your skin and eyes. Use sunscreen daily and wear UV-protecting sunglasses, even on cloudy days.”