Hear Danny Kelly talk to eye surgeon Mark Wevill on BBC WM about sunshine, our eyes and our health
Everything is good in moderation. Too little sun & too much is a problem. A bit of sunshine every day prevents or reduces the amount of short sightedness in children. In fact it’s so good that schools in countries with high levels of short-sightedness are sending school children out to play for an hour a day and the degree of short-sightedness is already reducing.
Sunlight in our eyes also increases the amount of serotonin in our brains. Serotonin is the happy hormone and high levels in the day increases melatonin release at night which is the sleepy hormone. Without enough sunlight entering your eyes, your serotonin levels can dip and can trigger sadness or even depression. Dull days & staying indoors in winter can cause you to be in a bad mood for a long time which is also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD. It’s a type of depression caused by a short days & weak sunlight in winter. Natural light exposure during the day makes us happy and helps us sleep well at night too.
There are disadvantages of too much sun exposure because it can cause cataracts. Cataracts are a cloudiness of the natural lens in our eyes which causes glare from headlights at night and eventually blurred vision in the daytime. When cataracts cause vision problems, a painless quick operation can remove them and your cloudy lens can be replaced with a high tech clear lens which may even mean you don’t have to wear glasses again. Read more. And as you’ll be getting more light into your eyes, you’ll be happier ands sleep better at night.
But sunlight also has other health benefits. Sunlight on our skins produces vitamin D which makes bones stronger, lowers the risk of colon, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. Psoriasis, eczema and acne also improve with sunlight.
Sunlight and vitamin D are also slimming because they reduce your appetite. And vitamin D boosts immunity & reduces your risk of developing infections such as flu. So sunlight may help you fight off the COVID19 virus.
So follow the Health Secretary’s advice about staying safe and don’t spread Coronavirus. But get a little sun responsibly. You’ll be happier, sleep better tonight & boost your immunity against COVD19!