I thought you might enjoy reading about a common tanning mistake that can easily be corrected in your salon.

Dear Brenda:
I went into a tanning bed for the first time yesterday and used the gold eye stickers.  I did not put them on correctly and just stuck them like a sticker on my eye lid.  I was in the tanning bed for eight minutes.  My eyes were also shut the whole time.   Do you think I did any damage to my eyes?

Thanks for your help.

Hi Rob,
Thanks for your question, it’s a good one.  And I also appreciate you caring about your eye sight enough to write. Shame on the tanning salon you visited for not properly explaining how to use disposable eye protection!  I would seriously consider finding a different salon if your new salon is so indifferent to a new tanner that they did not take the time to properly ensure you were familiar with your eye protection.

The display box for every brand of disposable eye protection features a diagram that shows assembly, as well as a photo on the front of the box with a wearer properly wearing the product as an example.  You’ll also find directions on the back of every pair of disposable eye protection, regardless of manufacturer.  We also recommend that the salon fold the eyewear into a cone and place it on top of the display box, so that the user will see how to use the product properly.

Unfortunately, you tanned at a salon that did not take the time to explain how to use the product.  Luckily, disposable eye protection is a complete UV block, so wearing the product flat on your eye would have protected you reasonably well.   Disposables worn flat don’t block all of the ambient light that may come in the sides of your eyes.    The biggest concern is probably that you received a big, white “raccoon eye” effect, since the product covered more of your eye area than is necessary for vision protection while tanning.  Folding the product into a cone blocks ambient light from entering your eye and also allows you to see through it during your tanning session allowing you to adjust your stereo, fans and facial tanners, check the time remaining, all without removing your eye protection.

Of course, only an examination by an ophthalmologist can determine if you have damaged your eyes.  If you ever experience eye pain after a tanning session, even if you wore protection, please see your eye doctor.

Once again, thanks for valuing your vision enough to protect it while enjoying the comforts of indoor tanning!

About the Author: Tanning industry veteran Brenda Fishbaugh is president of Eye Pro, Inc., makers of disposable eyewear. She travels extensively training salons on the effects of UV light on vision.