All of us have heard of sunburn and are even aware of sun poisoning now but have you ever heard of eyes sunburn. Well at least I was unaware of this term till few months back. The credit of enlightening me and my other friends on eye sunburn goes to one of my dearest friend Ritika.
Last year, while on a holiday in Goa, Ritika complained of gritty eyes. I being an avid disciple of nani and dadi maa ke nuskhe put some rose water in poor girls eyes thinking it might be due to sand and with some rose water everything will be fine till morning.
Next day when we woke up Ritika’s eyes were blood red and one could easily make out that she was in great pain. I quickly called my other friends and we took her to a doctor. It was then we all fools came to know about eye sunburn.
Normally we associate sunburn with skin and to avoid it lather on sunscreens and take all other precautionary measures. But what should we do to avoid or treat sunburned eyes? Before this let us first know the causes and the symptoms of sunburn in eyes.
The main cause of the sunburn in eyes is the prolonged sun exposure. But there can be few other causes as well like reflection of sunlight off water or even snow, welding torch, photographer’s flood lamp, halogen lamp, solar eclipse etc.
Symptoms of Eye Sunburn:
• Gritty eyes
• Blurry vision
• Temporary vision loss also called snow blindness.
Use anti-inflammatory drops to soothe the eyes in case of minor sun burn. It is always better to seek a medical help before starting your in house treatments as far as eyes are concerned (a lesson well learnt).
Precautions to be taken:
• Wear sunglasses as these are more than just another fashion accessory. But always keep in mind to check for UVA and UVB protection before buying sunglasses. A rating of 100 percent protection is a must after all it is about your eyes. Strength of UV sunglasses can be checked by following these few basic steps:
1. If you can see your eyes through the lens then they are too light to block the UVA and UVB rays.
• These days contact lenses with inbuilt UV protection are also available so nothing to worry about in case you wear contact lenses.
• Avoid sun exposure between 12 noon to 4 pm as it is during this period sun is directly above our head I mean there is a greater risk of being sun burned during this period.
• Wear sunglasses in cloudy days too. UV rays can penetrate through clouds so do not take any risk.
• Green tinted sunglasses are a safe bet as they reduce the glare and filter the blue light as well. Look for sunglasses that can filter blue light as it is supposed to damage the retina.
• Wearing protective clothing like hats also helps.
It is always better to take precautions when ever possible to avoid serious complications like total loss of vision in later years.