When you think about protecting yourself from the sun, more often than not the mind immediately turns to sun cream in high factors, and staying in the shade. But did you know that the sun's rays can also affect your eyes? Here we explore how you can stay fully sun-savvy by protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
What is Photokeratitis (eye sunburn)?
Photokeratitis is more common than you might think. It's often referred to as eye sunburn or corneal flash burn. You may have experienced some level of this before, as it can be caused by a number of things such as the flash from a camera, as well as from sun exposure. This type of radiation exposure can cause discomfort, sometimes pain, as well as other symptoms such as bloodshot eyes or blurry vision.
How can it happen?
Damage to your eyes that's caused by the sun can happen at any time throughout the year. There are particular areas where it's more likely to occur, such as during peak sunlight times in the day, or for example, when visiting places that are high up.
It's also important to be aware of UV rays that are reflected from the surfaces around you. Contrary to popular opinion, when it snows in winter can be a key time for damage to occur, as surfaces such as snow and water can reflect the damaging rays.
How can I prevent it?
There's a simple way to help protect your eyes from sun damage, and that's to wear sunglasses! But it's important to make sure you have the right level of UV protection in your lenses. A good pair of sunglasses should block out 100% of the UV rays from the sun, and the more of your face the lenses cover, the less rays that can get to your eyes.
For more handy guides on how to take care of your eyes, take a look at the rest of our blog.