February 11th, 2016
Posts Tagged ‘sun protection’
The sun is an essential in my life. It depicts my mood, my health, and my daily plan. Whenever the sun is out in full force, I feel more energetic and motivated to get outside to do something. The water always seems warmer when the sun is out and my surfs usually last twice as long as sessions when the sun isn’t out. Not only does the sun provide me with energy, it keeps me stock full of vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous- ensuring strong bones and a powerful immune system.
Living in San Diego, I have easy access to sunshine, but living so close to the beach has a con- marine layer AKA fog. The gloom depresses me. I give mad props to those of you who live in northern latitudes where it’s rare to get frequent full sun. But don’t forget that gray or blue, the sun will find its way to you. Always use protection to reduce chances of skin cancer and wrinkles. Who me? Yes, you. Those rays will reach down and brush your skin with a healthy dose of D but also carcinogens and fine lines if you’re not careful.
Being that I use the thickest, whitest organic sunscreen, I don’t always like to slather it on before going out. In the last couple years, I have discovered the beauty of hats. Versatile and stylish, you can’t go wrong with a hat that serves as a bodyguard for your skin. My favorite hat at the moment is a wide brimmed hat like the one pictured (Brixton Hat). It covers my face, neck, chest, and shoulders, so I can go out all day without having to apply a drop of sunscreen to those areas. Get yours: check out the epic collection of hats on SWELL
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While it may appear that most surfers are self-prescribing themselves with glaucoma medicine, many watermen suffer from what we call “Surfer’s Eye”. Doctors call this red tissue that creeps across the whites of people’s eyes a “Ptertyium” and while non-cancerous, it causes major threats to your vision and other complications.
Causes: Sustained exposure to UV rays without eye protection is the primary cause of an overgrown conjunctiva. Surfers, skiers, fishermen and others in highly reflective environments have increased proneness to suffer from the symptoms of Surfer’s Eye. Combining other elements like wind, dryness and dust can accelerate the growth of a Ptertygium in a single day.
A friend of SWELL went wake-boarding on a dry, windy day without sunglasses, and woke up the next morning with a growth that would eventually require surgical removal.
Symptoms: Aside from cops and coworkers thinking that you get stoned all day, Surfer’s Eye causes chronic irritation and soreness of the eyes. Some surfers describe the foreign feeling of that eye growth as similar to the discomfort of an old contact lens or grains of sand in the eye.
The serious threat to your vision comes when the growth progresses into the cornea of you eye, and the excess tissue start to impair your vision. Then comes the fun part…
Treatment: Ptertyium surgery isn’t your 20 minute lasik. Patients must endure hours of scalpels and razors shaving their eyes while wide awake. The recovery is just as painful since doctors graft a different part of your eye and sew where they cut, creating two wounds. Don’t expect to be surfing for weeks after this medievel torture.
Scared straight yet? Good, because nipping a Ptertyium the bud isn’t quite so easy. When the first signs of the excess tissue makes contact with your eyelid, it constantly creates friction and irritation causing a dry red state prone to infection. To prevent this, use artificial tears (not Visine) to always keep your eyes well lubricated.
Your first line of defense should always be a good pair of polarized sunglasses. Most importantly polarized shades shield your eyes from ultra violet rays, wind and abrasive airborne particles. Thankfully sunglasses technology recently improved tremendously, creating thin, light weight glass lenses that block 99.9% of glare and maintain superior clarity.