Sunburned eyes – even more painful
Monday, June 17 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
Protection against UV rays is important all year long. However, the arrival of sunny summer days is an ideal time for eyecare professionals to remind the public of the risks of overexposure.
In the United States, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recently issued a warning, urging people to wear sunglasses and a hat when heading outside. They cite a number of studies showing that exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and even tumours.
They also insist on the lesser known danger, photokeratitis, or ultraviolet keratitis, which is like a sunburn of the cornea. It generally takes one to three days to recover from photokeratitis, which is extremely painful. “In far too many cases, people think that a little redness on the skin is not a big deal; but, consider what that burn could feel like on your extremely thin and delicate corneas,” said Philip Rizzuto, secretary for communications for the AAO.