Malpractice News

June 22, 2013

Opthalmologists warn against eye sunburn

As the days heat up, beach goers, hikers, campers, and bikers are slathering on the sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. But did you know that your eyes can be at risk too? According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, too much sun exposure can burn your eyes, cause temporary blindness, and, over time, lead to other eye disorders.

Sunglasses need UV lenses

To prevent eye damage, the Academy suggests that the public “wear sunglasses and hats when enjoying the outdoors this summer and all year long,” not just during the summer. Also, they advised that during outdoor activities people ought to be especially careful around reflective surfaces, like snow, sand, pavement, or water. For sufficient protection your sunglasses should have UV protective lenses and hats should have at least a 3-inch brim. Also remember that some medications can increase your photosensitivity which will make your eyes more susceptible to burns.

Eye sunburn symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of eye burns, or photokeratitis, include a feeling of grit in your eyes, which is actually caused by a peeling cornea, or a burning sensation. Treatment includes application of a cold compress , eyedrops, and oral pain medication. People with light-colored eyes are more prone to sunburn of the eye because there is less protective pigmentation.

Scientific studies have found that “continuous years of unprotected exposure to the sun without eye protection can damage your eyes by contributing to cataracts and macular degeneration and even lead to tumors that may require surgical removal.”


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