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How Sun Damages Your Eyes

Over time, the sun can cause significant damage to your eyes. This is why it’s important to wear a form of eye protection like sunglasses.


Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the relationship that sun damage has to your eyes: how this sun damage happens, the symptoms of this damage, how recovery works, and more. We hope this helps you take care of your vision and maintain your eye health.

How Does Sun Damage Eyes?

UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes, in much the same way that they can cause damage to your skin. This is why it’s a good idea to wear some form of protective eyewear when you’re out in the hot sun, such as sunglasses or transition lenses.


That said, you can also suffer from this form of damage while in a tanning booth. It’s even possible for the sun to damage your eyes when it’s reflected off snow or water. When snow reflects the UV rays like this and damages your eyes, it’s referred to as “snow blindness.”


Sun damage to the eye presents itself in a myriad of different ways. Photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis are two short-term signs of sun damage, but cataracts, macular degeneration, and even skin cancer around the eyes are all possible if the UV damage is not caught early enough.

How Do You Know If The Sun Has Damaged Your Eyes?

Short-term sun damage to your eyes will often present itself as a piercing pain in your eyes. This is most often an issue when people look straight at the sun during a solar eclipse. You also want to be vigilant for blurriness and excessive tear production.  Bright lights can also pose danger, especially at high temperatures such as are produced during welding. 


If you feel that your eyes have been damaged, you should visit an eye doctor. They’ll be able to perform a vision inspection designed to spot problems and diagnose the best solution.

Can Your Eyes Heal From Sun Damage?

Sun damage builds up over time, but photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis usually heal within a short timeframe. The real concern is when your retina is burned, which most commonly occurs if you’ve stared directly at an eclipse.


Other forms of eye damage will vary in their reversibility. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to schedule regular appointments with an eye doctor. They’ll be able to spot the formation of things like cataracts or eye diseases, advising you on the procedures necessary to protect your eye health.

Looking for an Optometrist in Arizona?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. At Arizona Vision Therapy Center, we’re committed to ensuring that Arizona residents have access to the eye care services they need.


Ready to learn more about what Arizona Vision Therapy Center can do for you? Please call us at (520) 886-8800.