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5 Ways the Sun Can Damage Your Eyes

  • Post category:Eye Care

We all know the sun’s UV rays can do a number on our skin and eyes. But what you might not realize is the number of ways the sun can damage your eyes.

Your eyes can get sunburned.

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned? Commonly known as snow blindness, photokeratitis is basically when harmful UV rays reflect off surfaces such as snow, sand or water. The reflective rays burn the cornea, which can lead to temporary blindness.

It can increase the risk of eye cancers, including on the eyelid.

Melanoma can form in your eye as well as on your eyelid. It is rare in the eye, but it can happen in an area of the eye near the iris with choroid cells. Melanoma can grow because choroid cells have the same pigment as skin.

Other cancers make the cut in terms of ways the sun can damage your eyes too.

Too much sun exposure can lead to cataracts.

We tend to think of cataracts and older people. However, the condition can be caused by repeated and extended sun exposure too. Cataracts is a vision impairment that leaves you with cloudy vision in one or both eyes.

Prolonged sun exposure can lead to growths on the eye.

Oftentimes, people who spend long daily hours outside experience growths. For example, high risk categories included farmers, surfers, construction workers, skiers and fishermen. There are two main types. One is known as pterygium. The other is pinguecula.

Both growths are more of a nuisance than a major concern, but they can impair vision. Plus, they feel gritty and look unsightly.

It can lead to macular degeneration.

This may be one of the ways the sun can damage your eyes that is still up for debate. Some experts say repeated exposure to those harmful UV rays can lead to macular degeneration. To clarify, macular degeneration is blurred vision that develops over time.


Protecting your eyes from the sun and other sources of UV light is just as important as protecting your skin with sunscreen! The best way to protect those peepers is to invest in a quality pair of UV-protective sunglasses. A good place to find those is your local Mississippi Eye Care clinic!

To stay informed on all things eyes, keep yours on our blogs!