Aker Kasten Eye Center | What you should know about photokeratitis

What you should know about photokeratitis

Posted by: Aker Kasten Eye Center in Eye Care on June 15, 2016

eye care for childrenThanks to a lot of information about how the sun can cause skin cancer (and wrinkles), most of us know we need to wear sunscreen year-round, even on cloudy days. So it doesn’t make sense that many of us are still heading outside without any sun protection for our delicate eyes.

You’re asking for a bad case of photokeratitis (sunburned eyes)

It’s not as common as sunburned skin, but sunburned eyes can occur when unprotected or under-protected eyes are exposed to sunlight — reflecting off water, sand, ice, snow and pavement. This kind of exposure damages the thin surface layer of the cornea, with symptoms that can include:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Temporary vision loss

Protect your vision with (the right kind of) sunglasses

Choose a pair that is certified to block at least 98% percent of UVA and UVB rays. However, even lenses that offer maximum UV protection don’t always shield your eyes from ambient light hitting the back of your lens and reflecting into your eyes. So to give your eyes the best protection possible, select a wrap style that fits tight to your face. Your eye doctor can help you make sure you have the right coverage, so call for your appointment today: (561) 338-7722.

Polarized lenses

They don’t protect your eyes from the sun’s rays, but they do reduce glare, which can help you see better.

Wear sunglasses on sunny and cloudy days

This will not only help prevent photokeratitis, but it will also decrease your risk of getting cataracts, which are known to develop after years of sun exposure.

What goes for you goes double for your children

You might diligently cover your children with sunscreen, but you might be overlooking covering their eyes. And kids need eye protection even more than adults do. That’s because the most sun damage occurs when we’re young and our pupils are their largest. Children are also outside more than adults and exposing themselves to other sources of UV, high energy, and blue violet lights with cell phones pressed tight to their faces.