While you have been enjoying the summer with reckless abandon, have you ever imagined that the sunlight that brings you so much bliss and excitement could also be a threat to your health?
Most people are oblivious of the extent to which the sun can cause harm to their eyes, skin and their general health. It’s easy to wipe away a few blemishes on your skin and come up with excuses for not protecting your eyes as much as you need to. However, taking your health for granted can sometimes come with a whole bucket of distasteful consequences and affect the quality of your life. Today, despite of all the health information sources, many Americans still underestimate the damage done to their health by the beautiful sunlight rays that make summer as wonderful as it is.
The sun is the source of light for planet Earth. However, disguised in the sun’s life giving attribute are the UV rays that pose a danger to your health and specifically to your skin and eyes.
Did you know that UV rays vary with place and time? According to reports by the Environmental Protection Agency, an organization that aims at preserving the environment, UV levels are highest in New Orleans, Miami, Honolulu and San Juan with levels of 10, 11, 12 and 11 respectively.
Based on the UV Index, a measurement that shows the strength of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, levels 8-10 indicate very high risks of harm to the skin and eyes while levels 11-12 indicate extreme risks of harm under unprotected exposure. UV rays are also highest when summer is at its peak, that is, during the months of June and July.
In Massachusetts, the UV levels vary between 5 & 8, depending on the month and season of the year. These levels, though not extremely risky, can still cause significant harm to the skin and eyes under long durations of unprotected exposure.
Today, The United States has recorded an increase in occurrence of melanoma (cancer of the skin). A recent medical study shows it to be one of the leading cancers in the United States. Besides Melanoma, unprotected exposure to UV radiation can lead to wrinkles, extreme sunburns, loss of skin elasticity, suppression of the immune system and fasten the aging process.
To protect your skin and eyes from the harmful UV rays,
- make sure to apply sunscreen on your skin
- limit your exposure to sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sunlight is at its peak.
- wear protective clothing that covers your arms and legs
- have a pair of quality sunglasses with you to block out the harmful UV rays
- use supplements to get Vitamin D instead of exposing your skin to the sun.
For more information on how to limit your exposure to the harmful UV rays, check out this website here.
Contrary to what most people believe, UV rays remain an active threat even when it is cloudy. Just because the sun is hidden behind the clouds does not mean its harmful rays cease to exist. Yes, even on a cloudy day, your sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses will come in handy.
Next time you go to the beach or on a summer vacation, make sure to use some sunscreen on you skin and carry along with you a pair of sunglasses to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays. Don’t get us wrong, of course we want you to enjoy the summer sun as much as possible. However, we also want you to be aware and living a healthy life is much more fun. Your health remains your greatest wealth!