Natural Light and Eye Health: From Myopia to Glaucoma

blond woman facing the sunrise with arms up in the air

Natural sunlight plays an important role in maintaining and improving our vision and health. I recently interviewed Dr. Valerie Giangrande, a holistic optometrist, on my Clear Vision Wednesday show. Dr. Valerie offered insights into the benefits of sunlight exposure for eye health, emphasizing its impact on our eyes, hormones, and general well-being. 

Morning sunlight: a natural healer

Red light in the morning: Early morning sunlight, which is rich in red and infrared light, is particularly beneficial. This light spectrum helps to energize our cells and prepare our bodies for the day. Red light exposure in the morning is safe for setting our circadian rhythms, the internal clock that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

Consistent exposure: Aim to get consistent exposure to morning sunlight. Even just five minutes a day can help your health. This consistency helps your body produce the hormones and neurotransmitters needed for optimal functioning.

Hormonal benefits of sunlight

UV light and hormone production: UV light, particularly UVA, is essential for hormone production. Our eyes, acting as hormone-making organs, use UVA light to produce serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles. Morning sunlight exposure helps set these cycles, ensuring we get restful sleep at night.

Thyroid hormones and melanin: UVA light also stimulates the production of thyroid hormones and melanin. Melanin not only protects our skin from sun damage but also plays a role in overall eye health.

The dangers of artificial light

LED lights and circadian disruption: Artificial lighting, especially LEDs, emit a constant “noon” light signal, disrupting our natural rhythms. This continuous exposure to artificial blue light can lead to hormonal imbalances and increased cortisol levels, which can interfere with sleep and overall health.

Blocking artificial light: To mitigate these effects, use blue light blocking glasses in the evening and dim the lights in your home. VivaRays light-balancing glasses are a safe option to protect our need for warm light in the evening, even when using blue-lit tech devices. Opt for amber or red-hued lighting in the home at night to create a more natural evening and nighttime lighting environment. 

Sunlight and eye health

Melatonin production: Sunlight exposure helps produce melatonin not just in the pineal gland at night, but also in our mitochondria during the day. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair and regenerate cells, including those in our eyes. Lack of natural light exposure can disrupt this process, leading to various eye health issues.

Protection against eye diseases: Sunlight, when appropriately managed, can protect against common eye diseases. For instance, the nitric oxide released during UV exposure helps dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and potentially lowering intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.

Practical Tips for Safe Sun Exposure

Gradual exposure: If you have always worn sunglasses, start gradually exposing your eyes to natural light. Begin with early morning light, which is gentle and safe. Over time, your eyes will adapt, reducing light sensitivity.

Hydration: Proper hydration at the cellular level is important. Natural sunlight helps our mitochondria produce the water that hydrates our cells. Ensure you’re drinking clean, mineral-rich water to support this process.

Avoid overexposure: While sunlight is beneficial, it’s prudent to avoid overexposure. Use hats and seek shade when the sun is at its peak to prevent skin damage and sunburns.

Natural sunlight can improve your vision and overall health. By understanding the different types of light and their effects on our bodies, we can choose to make informed decisions about our exposure to natural and artificial light sources. Incorporate these tips into your daily routine to harness the holistic benefits of sunlight, improve your vision, and enhance your overall well-being.

>> Watch the whole episode here

Claudia Muehlenweg has helped thousands of people enhance their natural eyesight and overall well-being. She is deeply passionate about reconnecting clients with their purpose, confidence, and freedom.
Filed in: Eye Health, Lifestyle & Food, Vision Improvement
Tagged with: circadian rhythm, glaucoma, infrared light, LED light, light spectrum, myopia, red light, sunlight, UV exposure, UV light, UVA

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