A recent trend on the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, known as “Sungazing,” gained significant attention as it encouraged individuals to believe that staring directly at the sun could enhance their eyesight.
Under the hashtag #sungazing, this trend has garnered a staggering 76.8 million views on TikTok.
In these viral videos, people were prompted to remove their contact lenses and gaze at the sun for a duration of five to 10 seconds, particularly during the first and last 15 minutes of sunlight each day. Some videos even suggested doing this with eyes closed at midday.
The trend purported that exposure to UVB rays from the sun carried potential health benefits, including aiding in the production of Vitamin D and improving overall eye health.
However, it is crucial to note that the practice of staring directly into the sun is strongly discouraged by experts in eye care. Manbir Nagra, the clinical editor of Optician, emphasized, “It won’t come as a surprise that staring directly into the sun is not recommended.” Such an action significantly elevates the risk of harm to ocular tissues.
Individuals who engage in this activity could develop eye conditions, such as solar retinopathy, which can adversely affect visual acuity and lead to central or paracentral scotoma. Although recovery is possible, it may take several months, and in some cases, individuals may be left with long-term ocular changes.