Sungazing is an unproven practice that includes gazing at the Sun for nourishment or as a spiritual practice. Looking into the Sun is dangerous, and can cause solar retinopathy and lead to permanent eye damage or blindness.
Staring at the sun, a practice called sunning by William Horatio Bates, is one of a series of exercises included in his Bates method, a popular alternative therapy developed in the early 20th century to improve eyesight. The British Medical Journal reported in 1967 that "Bates (1920) advocated prolonged sun-gazing as the treatment of myopia, with disastrous results".
The practice of sungazing is dangerous. Looking directly at the Sun for even brief periods of time may cause blindness or severe damage to the eye. Solar retinopathy, damage to the eye’s retina due to solar radiation, and blindness to varying degrees and persistence frequently result from sungazing during a solar eclipse. Although vision loss due to this damage is generally reversible, permanent damage and loss of vision have been reported. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as that produced by the sun, is associated with damage to the eye, including pterygium and cataracts.
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