Sun damage usually occurs to the skin. However, many people don’t realize that sun damage can also happen to eyes. Sometimes eye damage from UV light is called sunburn, but officially, this is called photokeratitis.
What is Photokeratitis?
Photokeratitis, sometimes called ultraviolet keratitis, presents as inflammation in the cornea. The cornea is the transparent covering over the exterior of the eye.
What Are The Symptoms of Photokeratitis?
The symptoms of photokeratitis are very obvious and uncomfortable. They include:
- Feeling like you have sand on the insides of your eyelids
- Inability to see at all
- Blurry vision
- Swollen eyelids and/or undereye swelling
- Feeling of pain or pressure within the eyeball
- Ultra-sensitivity to light
- Heavy tearing
- Seeing halos around objects
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your Riverdale eye doctor immediately.
Causes of Photokeratitis
Your eyes are extremely sensitive to the environment. This is why if you even have a small eyelash in your eye, it can feel like a tree branch is stuck in there. The symptoms of photokeratitis are much more painful than an eyelash, as you can see from the list above. But what causes photokeratitis to begin with?
Essentially, Photokeratitis is caused by overexposure to UV light. The most common source of UV light is, of course, the sun. But there are other sources to be aware of. Your eyes can be exposed to UV light from UV light bulbs, full-spectrum bulbs, tanning beds, and more.
Furthermore, certain conditions can exacerbate the dangers of sun damage to the eyes. This can happen when you are on a boat, at the pool, or near any reflective body of water. It can happen while skiing, since the snow reflects sunlight. It can even happen on lightly colored sidewalks and roadways in towns and cities.
How to Avoid Sun Damage to the Eyes
The best way to avoid sun damage to the eyes is to wear UV-rated sunglasses while outside on sunny days. Also, avoid using tanning beds, or at a minimum, close eyes and wear protective goggles during sessions. If you use full-spectrum bulbs while doing hobbies like painting or sewing, wear UV-rated eyewear.
Your eye doctor in Riverdale can help you with tips to avoid sun damage. Contact us today for more information.