July is UV safety awareness month

July is UV safety awareness month

It might be not be common knowledge that eyes can be sunburned just like skin.

July is UV safety awareness month and that calls for attention to be brought to the damage that ultraviolet light can bring not only to skin but to eyes as well.

It might be not be common knowledge that eyes can be sunburned just like skin. When the eyes are sunburned, that is known as photokeratitis. This is when the cornea becomes inflamed due to overexposure to UV radiation. 

While not terribly common, photokeratitis usually occurs when a person has been exposed to sun for extended periods without wearing proper eye protection. While most commonly associated with sun exposure, it can also happen from exposure to welding arcs and tanning beds.

Photokeratitis symptoms are similar to dry eye symptoms but are more intense and come on suddenly. Symptoms can include eye pain when blinking, red or gritty eyes, blurred vision and teary eyes. 

Using preservative-free artificial tears five to ten times a day can help reduce symptoms and if pain is intense, ibuprofen can be taken. If pain continues beyond a few days, please consult a doctor.

Taking precautions to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protections, and wearing a wide-brimmed hat are two good ways to protect your eyes. Limiting your exposure during the peak hours of 10 am to 2 pm when the sun is most intense is also encouraged. Be sun smart and protect your vision!

 

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