As redheads, we are all too familiar with sunburns. The sunburns usually occur in the typical areas: nose, forehead, shoulders, back, scalp, knees and feet. Have you ever thought your eyes can sunburn too? That’s right. It is not exactly the same as a skin sunburn because your eyes won’t turn red and peel (yuck!) but it can have some lasting damage.
Here’s everything you need to know about what an eye sunburn is, why it happens, and most importantly how to prevent it.
What is an eye sunburn?
The medical term for eye sunburn is Photokeratitis. This is a temporary condition that is caused by overexposure to UV rays. This condition is both painful and damaging to the eyes. Symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, blurred vision, headaches, watery eyes, sensitivity, and a “gritty” feeling in the eye.
How does an eye sunburn happen?
As mentioned before, eye sunburns happen because your eyes are exposed to too much UV light. This can happen outdoors in natural sunlight or via artificial UV light like those in a tanning bed. If the eyes aren’t properly protected, they can get sunburnt.
These are the best ways to prevent an eye sunburn:
It’s easy to prevent eye sunburn, but you have to be diligent about using eye protection.
- Wearing sunglasses is the best way, but you must make sure they are blocking out both UVB and UVA rays.
- You can also protect your eyes by wearing a wide-brim hat or seeking shade.
- Remember, sunburns of all types can happen on even the coldest and cloudiest day. Check the UV index in your area to see what the risk is and if sunglasses are necessary.
Rock it like a Redhead!