Tips To Protect The Eyes From Sun Damage

Summer is around the corner, many of us will flock outside to enjoy the beach and sunny days.  While the sun is a great source of Vitamin D, it also poses as a danger for our eyes. Use these tips to protect your eyes from the sun.

Primary Sun Danger

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the primary danger, it’s a component of solar radiation, but can also be attained from artificial sources such as tanning beds, lasers, and welding machines.

If you expose your eyes to an excessive amount of UV radiation in a short period of time, you’re putting your eyes at risk.

What is Photo keratitis?

Simply put, it’s an “eye sunburn”, quite uncomfortable and painful to say the least (feels like a foreign object is inside the eye).  Other symptoms may include a dry sensation, a gritty rough feeling, tearing, and red eyes.  The symptoms are temporary.

Long term exposure to UV radiation can be a lot more serious.  The more you expose your eyes to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing future eye conditions such as cataracts, or macular degeneration.

Exactly how much exposure we should avoid is not clear, but experts like our own Newport Beach Lasik Eye Specialist, Dr. Alexandra recommend wearing high quality sunglasses that offer UV protection along with other protective gear such as hats and avoiding direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.


The Right Sun Glasses to Protect Eyes from Sun Damage

For our eyes to have adequate protection, we must choose the right sunglasses.  Not only for protection, but also style, and lifestyle activities should be considered (if you like them, you will wear them more).

At minimum…

  • Sunglasses should block 99 to100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light
  • Free of distortion and imperfection
  • Lens color is also important for proper color recognition
  • Impact resistance lenses if your job or active lifestyle is an eye-hazard


While we protect ourselves as adults, it’s very important to remember the young adults and children.  They tend to spend a lot more time outside and their eyes are more susceptible to damage.

Protect your eyes and closely monitor your eye health by visiting your optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination regularly.