How to Know If You Have Sun Damage to The Eyes

How to Know If You Have Sun Damage to The Eyes
Posted on 07/03/2018

We all know that the sun's harsh UV rays can burn and damage skin – but did you know that strong sunlight can cause damage to your eyes, as well? Just as excessive exposure to sunlight can burn skin, the UV rays in sunlight can cause damage to the sensitive cells and photoreceptors in your eyes. Without proper protection, this damage can build up over time and eventually cause a variety of eye problems, potentially even leading to vision loss. At Callahan Eye Clinic, we're proud to be your comprehensive resource for eye care in Birmingham, AL. Here's how you can tell if you have sun damage to your eyes and what you can do about it.

How to Identify Sun Damage to the Eyes

It's easy to tell when you get a sunburn – but when it comes to sun-damaged eyes, detection can be more difficult. Often, sun damage to the eyes may not become obvious until it manifests as a more serious eye condition. A few of the eye conditions that sun damage can lead to include:

For the more serious conditions on this list, such as macular degeneration, the most obvious symptoms may be vision loss – if you start to notice blurry spots or cloudiness in your vision, you should schedule an eye exam right away. However, photokeratitis is more akin to a "sunburn" of the eye and can happen in the short-term after sun exposure. Symptoms of photokeratitis include:

  • Excessive watering of the eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Swelling
  • Blurred vision
  • Photosensitivity or difficulty looking at bright lights
  • A feeling of "grittiness" in the eyes

Schedule an Eye Exam with Your Birmingham Eye Doctor

If you notice any of these symptoms or any problems developing in your vision, you should schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible for an eye exam. The sooner we can diagnose and treat the problem, the better the outcome for your vision. However, the best way to fight sun eye damage is prevention. Wearing dark, polarized sunglasses that screen out UV light is the best way to protect your eyes from sun damage and preserve your health, clear vision in the long-term. Feel free to contact us if you have more questions about eye sun damage or want to visit us for an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you luck in keeping your eyes healthy and free of sun damage!