Can Eyes Get Sunburned? The answer is a quik YES. Just like your skin, your eyes are susceptible to damage from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. This condition, known as photokeratitis, can cause discomfort, redness, and temporary vision problems. But don't worry, by taking a few simple preventive measures, you can protect your eyes from sunburn and maintain healthy vision. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of eye sunburn and photokeratitis, understand how to prevent them, and discover what steps to take if you find yourself with sunburned eyeballs. So let's dive in and learn how to keep our eyes safe from the blazing sun's rays.

 Can Eyes Get Sunburned

what is photokeratitis?

Photokeratitis, often referred to as sunburn of the eyes, is a condition caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. When the eyes are exposed to excessive UV rays, particularly from the sun, the cornea and conjunctiva (the clear tissues covering the front of the eye) can become inflamed and irritated. This inflammation results in the painful symptoms of photokeratitis, including redness, tearing, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eyes. Photokeratitis can occur in various situations, such as spending long hours at the beach or engaging in outdoor activities without proper eye protection. While the symptoms are usually temporary and subside within a day or two, it is essential to understand the risks and take preventive measures to protect our eyes from this sun-induced condition.

What Ocassions Can Cause Sunburned Eyes?

After knowing what is photokeratitis, and it's caused by UV rays, while what applications do UV cause sunburned eyes? The primary sources of UV radiation that contribute to photokeratitis include:

1.Sunlight: The sun emits both UVA and UVB rays. While UVA rays are present throughout the day and can penetrate clouds and glass, UVB rays are more intense during midday and in sunny conditions.

2Reflection: Certain surfaces can reflect and intensify UV rays, further increasing the risk of photokeratitis. Examples include snow, water, sand, and highly reflective surfaces like concrete or metal.

 3.Artificial sources: Welding arcs, tanning beds, and certain industrial processes that involve intense UV light can also cause photokeratitis if proper eye protection is not used.

 Immediate symptoms of photokeratitis usually manifest a few hours after exposure and can last up to 48 hours. While the condition is typically temporary and doesn't cause permanent damage, repeated episodes of photokeratitis can lead to long-term eye problems and increase the risk of developing certain eye conditions, such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration.

what are the symptoms of photokeratitis(sunburned eyes)?

Since the photokeratitis is so serious to our health, how do I know if I am getting it? What are the symptoms of photokeratitis? The symptoms of photokeratitis, or sunburned eyes, can vary from person to person, but commonly include: 

1.Eye pain: Sunburned eyes may be accompanied by a dull, aching pain or a feeling of discomfort in the eyes.

 2.Redness and inflammation: The whites of the eyes (sclera) can appear bloodshot or reddened due to the inflammation caused by UV exposure.

 3.Sensitivity to light (photophobia): Sunburned eyes become highly sensitive to bright light. Even normal indoor lighting or sunlight can cause discomfort and an urge to squint or shield the eyes.

 4.Tearing or watery eyes: Excessive tear production is a natural response to eye irritation and inflammation.

what are the symptoms of photokeratitis

 5.Blurred vision: Photokeratitis can temporarily affect vision, leading to blurred or hazy vision.

 6.Gritty or foreign body sensation: It may feel as if there's something stuck in the eyes, causing discomfort and a gritty sensation.

 7.Eye swelling: In some cases, sunburned eyes can become swollen or puffy due to the inflammation.

 8.Headaches: The strain on the eyes and increased sensitivity to light can lead to headaches or eye strain.

How to Prevent Sunburned Eyes (photokeratitis)?

If when you are outside, under the buring sun,how to prevent eye sunburn? or I should say how to prevent photoeratits? The answer to it is to wear UV sunglasses. It is wise to choose sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection. Look for labels or stickers indicating the sunglasses' ability to block both UVA and UVB rays. Opt for wraparound styles or those with large lenses to shield your eyes from rays coming from different angles.

Choose Sunglasses to Prevent Sunburned Eyes

The UV blocking function is potent to prevent your eyes get sunburned well, and here are some tips to pick your perfect UV sunglasses:

1.100% UV protection: Ensure that the sunglasses provide 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This information should be clearly indicated on the product label or description. Inform customers that proper UV protection is vital in shielding their eyes from harmful UV radiation and reducing the risk of photokeratitis.

2.Opt for larger lens sizes and wraparound styles: Encourage customers to choose sunglasses with larger lens sizes and wraparound styles. These designs provide more coverage and help block out UV rays from various angles, reducing the risk of exposure to the delicate tissues of the eyes.

 3.Consider polarized lenses: While polarization doesn't directly indicate UV protection, polarized lenses can reduce glare and improve visual comfort. Explain to customers that polarized lenses can be beneficial in outdoor environments with intense sunlight, reducing eye strain and enhancing clarity of vision.

What to Do for Sunburned Eyeballs?

If you suspect that you have sunburned eyes or are experiencing symptoms of photokeratitis, what to do for sunburned eyeballs? It's essential to take prompt action to alleviate discomfort and support the healing process. Here are some steps to follow if you find yourself with sunburned eyes:

1.Seek medical attention: Consult an eye care professional, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, for a proper diagnosis and treatment. They can assess the extent of the damage and provide appropriate care.

2.Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes: Sunburned eyes are already sensitive and irritated, so it's crucial to refrain from rubbing or touching them. Rubbing can further aggravate the inflammation and potentially lead to additional complications.

3.Apply cool compresses: Gently place cool, damp compresses on your closed eyelids to help soothe the discomfort. The coolness can provide relief and reduce inflammation. Avoid using ice directly on your eyes.

4.Use preservative-free artificial tears: Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears can provide temporary relief from dryness and discomfort associated with sunburned eyes. Opt for preservative-free drops to minimize the risk of further irritation.

5.Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes from further UV exposure by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses when you go outside, even on cloudy days. This helps shield the sensitive sunburned eyes from additional sunlight and promotes healing.

6.Avoid bright lights and screens: Minimize your exposure to bright lights, including harsh indoor lighting and electronic screens, as they can exacerbate the symptoms of photokeratitis. Opt for dimmer lighting or use a blue light filter on digital devices.

7.Follow any prescribed treatments: If your eye care professional prescribes any medications, ointments, or eye drops, make sure to use them as directed. These treatments can help reduce inflammation, alleviate discomfort, and support the healing process.

8.Give your eyes time to heal: Sunburned eyes typically improve within a few days as the inflammation subsides. During this time, avoid activities that may strain your eyes or expose them to excessive sunlight.


All in all, can eyes get sunburned? Yes, you should protect your eyes from sunburn well when you are outside. By following simple yet effective measures, we can safeguard our vision and maintain optimal eye health. Wearing polarized sunglasses with adequate UV protection takes center stage. The use of polarized sunglasses, in particular, provides an additional layer of defense by reducing glare and enhancing visual comfort in bright outdoor environments. With their ability to block harmful UV rays and minimize the risk of sunburned eyes, polarized sunglasses emerge as a vital accessory for anyone venturing out into the sun.

Click the below picture to get a pair of polarized sunglasses for uv protection.

what to do for sunburned eyeballs

So, whether you're basking on the beach, engaging in outdoor activities, or simply going about your day, remember to make polarized sunglasses your trusted companion for comprehensive eye protection, get them yours from RVR sunglasses. By embracing these preventive practices, we can enjoy the sunshine while keeping our eyes safe and sound.

July 17, 2023 — RVR OPTICS