From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A man with his back to the camera stares directly at a twilight sun.
A man sungazing

Sungazing is the unsafe practice of looking directly at the Sun. It is sometimes done as part of a spiritual or religious practice, most often near dawn or dusk.[1] The human eye is very sensitive, and exposure to direct sunlight can lead to solar retinopathy, pterygium,[2] cataracts,[3] and potentially blindness.[4][5][6] Studies have shown that even when viewing a solar eclipse the eye can still be exposed to harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation.[7]


Referred to as sunning by William Horatio Bates as one of a series of exercises included in his Bates method, it became a popular form of alternative therapy in the early 20th century.[8] His methods were widely debated at the time but ultimately discredited for lack of scientific rigor. The British Medical Journal reported in 1967 that "Bates (1920) advocated prolonged sun-gazing as the treatment of myopia, with disastrous results".[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liberatore, Paul (2009-09-30). "Mill Valley man's film on people who stare at the sun among featured at festival". Marin Independent Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  2. ^ Solomon, A S (2006). "Pterygium". British Journal of Ophthalmology. 90 (6): 665–6. doi:10.1136/bjo.2006.091413. PMC 1860212. PMID 16714259.
  3. ^ Neale, Rachel E.; Purdie, Jennifer L.; Hirst, Lawrence W.; Green, Adèle C. (2003). "Sun Exposure as a Risk Factor for Nuclear Cataract". Epidemiology. 14 (6): 707–12. doi:10.1097/01.ede.0000086881.84657.98. PMID 14569187. S2CID 40041207.
  4. ^ Stokkermans TJ, Dunbar MT (Oct 1998). "Solar retinopathy in a hospital-based primary care clinic". J Am Optom Assoc. 69 (10): 625–36. PMID 9805443.
  5. ^ D van Norren (October 1, 1991). "Photochemical Damage to the Eye". News Physiol Sci. 6 (6): 232–234. 1548-9213/91.
  6. ^ Chen JC, Lee LR (November 2004). "Solar retinopathy and associated optical coherence tomography findings" (PDF). Clin Exp Optom. 87 (6): 390–3. doi:10.1111/j.1444-0938.2004.tb03100.x. PMID 15575813.
  7. ^ Krasniz I, Beiran I, Miller B (1999-11-01). "Retinal lesion due to excessive exposure to sunlight". Harefuah. 137 (9): 378–80, 431, 430. PMID 11419039.
  8. ^ Chou, Brian (15 September 2004). "Exposing the Secrets of Fringe Eye Care". Review of Optometry. 141 (9).
  9. ^ Ridgway, A. E. (1967). "Solar retinopathy". BMJ. 3 (5559): 212–4. doi:10.1136/bmj.3.5559.212. PMC 1842517. PMID 6028468.

External links[edit]