How to treat sun damaged eyes

We are well aware of the risks that sun damage to our skin can cause, which is why we cover up and seek shade in the hot summer months. Sun damage can even occur on less sunny days, even when we can’t see the sun. That’s why we’re still encouraged to incorporate an SPF into our morning skincare routine. The sun can age our skin, and it can produce symptoms for our eyes which can look like ageing too. 

What is sun damage to eyes called?

Sunburned eyes are caused by overexposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays, most likely those released by the sun. The condition is formally known as photokeratitis. Photokeratitis, sometimes called ultraviolet keratitis, is swelling of the cornea, which is the clear coating of the front and outside of the eye.

What are the symptoms of sun damaged eyes?

When the eyes are over-exposed to the sun, it can cause temporary or in severe cases permanent damage to certain parts of the eye which include: the retina, the cornea, the conjunctiva and the lens. 

Symptoms of Photokeratitis can vary in severity, things to look out for are:

  • Eye pain
  • Headache
  • Uncomfortable gritty feeling in the eye
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling
  • Twitching feeling in the eyelid
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Temporary vision loss 

Some of these symptoms are more severe than others, but you should always check with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. 

What are the treatments for sun damage to the eyes?

In a first time occurrence, Photokeratitis is not usually a cause for concern and should settle after a couple of days. Here are some at-home remedies that can help to relieve some symptoms:

  • Try not to rub your eyes! This will make swelling and irritation worse.
  • If you have been wearing contact lenses, remove them immediately.
  • Take over the counter pain relief.
  • Use a cool compress to soothe the eyes and rest.
  • Use eye drops to moisturise the affected area.
  • Always have your sunglasses handy. All Arlo Wolf sunglasses and opticals come with UV400 lenses as standard which provide 100% protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. Read more about our lens options here.

When should I wear sunglasses?

The general rule for wearing sunglasses is that they should be worn when the light intensity is inhibiting your sight, or in certain conditions such as being near water or heavy snow where the sun can reflect. However, as sun damage is becoming more researched and talked about, it’s not recommended to wear sunglasses all year round outside.

You should also be aware of artificial UV light, such as tanning beds. Tanning beds produce up to 100 times the amount of UV rays that the sun does, and can be extremely dangerous for your eyes. If you use tanning beds, it is important that you protect your eyes during use.

How to protect your eyes from sun damage with Arlo Wolf

All our sunglasses come with UV400 protection as standard, and you don’t need to compromise on style! All our frames are customisable, meaning you can upgrade to different lenses and colours! 

Not sure what your style is? Did you know we offer a try before you buy service? You can choose up to 4 frames across our entire range of women’s sunglasses and men’s sunglasses, and try them on in the comfort of your own home!

We also have a handy face shapes guide so you can figure what shape of sunnies is going to be perfect for you! Whilst you’re here, check out some of our other summer blogs, like our make up tips for glasses wearers