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Article: The glasses reduce the amount of ultra-violet light reaching key areas of the eye, tricking the brain into believing less harmful rays have penetrated the body.
The result, doctors believe, is that the body produces less of a natural substance it needs to defend itself against harmful ultraviolet light.
The theory will be published tomorrow in a book called Survival Of The Sickest, which analyses the origins of modern disease.
It was written by disease specialist Dr Sharon Moalem, who has studied the process of tanning & ultra-violet, or UV, light.
He thinks it may help explain the soaring rates of deadly skin cancer, or melonomas, in affluent countries.
His research has alarmed skin experts & led to calls for the development of "clear" sunglasses that protect the eye from UV damage but do not trick the body.
Previously, scientists & dermatologists had urged people to wear sunglasses to shield the retina from damage.
But Dr Moalem said: "Sunglasses make the brain think it's dark & this means you're not starting the natural process of tanning. You're more likely to burn & therefore at more risk of skin cancer." He acknowledged there were other factors which led to tanning but said: "Light in the eye is an important factor. It helps to short-circuit the body's natural defence mechanism against the sun." Dr Moalem's theory is: UV light in the eye activates a chemical known as the melanocyte-stimulating hormone which makes the skin thicken & go brown to protect it from harmful rays. "Companies should produce sunglasses that are clear but still block damaging UV rays which increase the risk of cataracts & other eye damage." More than a million people in the US were diagnosed w/the disease last year, making it the fastest growing cancer risk in America.
Malignant melanomas are one of the deadliest forms of cancer.
The survival rate can be as high as 99% but only if detected early.
Most vulnerable to skin cancer are those with many moles, w/red or fair hair, & those who burn easily in the sun but find it difficult to tan.
The disease affects more women than men, age 40-60 most at risk, although 2/3 of sun damage is before age 15.~Express.com #health