How to Recognize Eye Damage From the Sun

by Jun 2, 2021

If you have been overexposed to ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun, not only can you experience sunburned skin, but also severely sunburned eyes, a condition known as photokeratitis. Photokeratitis, or ultraviolet keratitis, refers to the inflammation of the cornea, the clear sheathing of the front of the eye. Keep on reading to learn more.

How to Recognize Eye Damage From the Sun


Short-term sunburn or permanent damage can occur when your eyes receive too much exposure to ultraviolet light. As with the skin, the longer your exposure to ultraviolet rays, the more intense your symptoms are likely to be. Some symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Eye pain, tearing, and twitching sensation in the eyelid.
  • Swelling, redness, and blurred vision.
  • Sensitivity to bright light, headache, and seeing halos.
  • Temporary vision loss or color changes in your vision.


The treatment for photokeratitis often focuses on reducing painful and uncomfortable symptoms. If you believe that you have a case of sunburned eyes, an eye doctor may recommend antibiotic eye drops or pain relievers. Meanwhile, other at-home treatments you can try for relief are:

  • Remove contact lenses to let your eyes heal.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes as it can further cause irritation.
  • Place a cold compress on your closed eyes.
  • Wear your sunglasses when you are outside.
  • Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes.

When to See a Doctor

If your symptoms continue to persist and cause pain, irritation, or discomfort, it is time to see an eye doctor. Remember, prolonged exposure to damaging ultraviolet light can cause serious eye conditions over time. These include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and eyelid cancer. 

Perception Eyecare %20 Eyewear is a trusted eye care clinic offering comprehensive eye exams, custom contact lenses, and specialized treatments for various eye conditions in Richardson, TX. Call us at [company_phone] or fill out our contact form to set up an appointment.

Request Appointment

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

Connect With Us

Let’s continue the conversation over on your social network of choice.