Nearly everyone knows that wearing sunglasses is a good idea on bright days, but it might come as a surprise to learn that your eyes can actually be sunburned. If you spent a lot of time in the sun and your eyes are now incessantly itchy, it's possible that they've been burned from too much ultraviolet radiation. Keep reading to learn more about this condition, how it's treated, and how you can keep it from happening again.
While often referred to as eye sunburns, the official name for this condition is photokeratitis. Eye sunburns can be caused by a lot of different things that expose you to heavy amounts of UV radiation. Sunny days, bright light bouncing off of snow, tanning beds, and looking at solar eclipses without eye protection are all potential culprits. The exposure to UV radiation damages the cornea, which can cause a host of symptoms.
Symptoms of photokeratitis include itchiness, blurred vision, swelling, headache, and a sense of grittiness on the eyes, like you've got sand caught under your eyelid.
How To Treat
If you suspect that you have photokeratitis, you should visit an eye doctor immediately for an eye exam. Your doctor will be able to examine your eyes and look for damage to the surface of the cornea.
In most situations, photokeratitis will heal on its own in a matter of days. However, your doctor will most likely prescribe eyedrops to help reduce inflammation and to keep itching to a minimum. Rubbing your eyes can prolong the healing process, so getting medical assistance from a doctor is very helpful.
Photokeratitis may not have long-lasting side effects, but it's still a condition you'll probably want to avoid experiencing twice. Thankfully, all you have to do to avoid photokeratitis is to wear adequate eye protection while out in the sun or any other event that might expose you to UV rays.
You should wear sunglasses or goggles that provide full coverage over the entirety of your eye and offer 99% or higher UV filtering. In addition, reducing the amount of time you spend in the bright light of day is a good idea. UV rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so always make sure you wear your sunglasses during those hours and try to stay out of direct sunlight. However, you should also keep in mind that UV rays can penetrate through clouds easily, so don't skip the sunglasses, even when it's overcast.
Eye sunburns are an irritating nuisance that can be easily avoided. Take steps to protect your vision to avoid ever having this problem happen to you again.Share
27 June 2017
How do you know when you need to get glasses for reading? As we get older, our eyes don't work as well as they once did. I squinted and adjusted my newspaper to make up for my failing eyesight but it wasn't enough after a while. I have talked with my eye doctor about the signs of failing eye sight and what can be done to put it off a bit. Between what my eye doctor has taught me and what I have read in books and online, I have gathered quite a bit of information about protecting your vision and seeing clearly long into your older years.