The National Cancer Institute states that exposure to strong sunlight, particularly in early childhood, may increase the risk of intraocular malignant melanoma (eye cancer). This disease affects about 2,000 people each year and can be fatal if left untreated.
Being born in the south, having blue eyes, indulging in sun bathing and not wearing sunglasses all appear to increase the risk. Being born in the south increases the risk three-fold. Blue-eyed people had the highest risk. Brown-eyed people were 60% less likely to develop the disease.
Some practical advice: Always shield your youngster’s eyes from the sun with hat or sunglasses. By filtering out the ultra-violet light rays, they also help prevent night blindness. As we get older, the crystalline lens of the eye helps in filtering out these harmful rays. Heed the advice of these experts and avoid undue exposure to sunlight unless you have adequate eye protection.