Eye Problems Caused by Sun and UV Exposure: Symptoms, Treatment

There is a common problem among many people. They experience temporary eye damage because of the sun and UV exposure. In fact, it could be very dangerous if it caused permanent eye damage.

The good thing is you can avoid it. In the article, we will cover the eye problems and symptoms caused by sun and UV exposure. We will also cover the treatment and prevention, so you can implement them. Let’s find out.

Eye Conditions Caused by Sun Exposure

You can get various eye conditions caused by sun exposure. In the following, we have handpicked six major problems you can get.

1. Corneal Sunburn

Corneal sunburn is popularly known as photokeratitis that is commonly caused by UV exposure. The cornea is considered the skin of the eye. And a sunburn of the cornea is called photokeratitis. If you are having corneal sunburn, it will cover the front of your eyes.  It happens because of not having proper protection.

2. Aging

Well, this is not directly caused by sun exposure. However, UV exposure is harmful to your skin around your eyes. In fact, it could be indirectly harmful to your eyes. If you are not wearing a pair of sunglasses, it could be harmful to your skin.

3. Pinguecula

Pinguecula is a serious eye condition that does not go away easily. Hench, it needs medical treatment sometimes. If you have pinguecula, you will have a white or yellow bump within the conjunctiva. It happens if you are spending too much time in the sunlight. Many people who are from dry and sunny areas, get pinguecula.

4. Pterygium

Just like pinguecula, pterygium is another serious eye problem people can get by sun or UV exposure. In fact, pterygium is could be a permanent condition and cause permanent vision loss. Sometimes pterygium required surgery to be recovered.

5. Cataracts

Cataracts mostly happen because of aging. However, if someone’s eyes are too much espoused on the UV rays, it could get cataracts. In simple words, cataracts are a clouding of the lens and could affect vision. If you don’t want to have this eye condition, make sure to wear a pair of sunglasses.

6. Macular Degeneration

Another eye problem people get from ultraviolet radiation is macular degeneration. It could create a lot of problems. You can get more information about this eye condition by doing some research.

Symptoms of Sun Damage

Finally, you know the common eye conditions someone can get by UV or sun exposure. However, it could be hard to find out these eye problems. You could get to know about it by some symptoms.

1. A Sensation That You Have a Foreign Substance in Your Eyes

Well, when we get a sunburn, our body feels uncomfortable. Just like that, your eyes could also get this symptom after getting a sunburn. You will feel like you have a foreign substance in your eyes. Don’t rub your eyes as it can worsen the symptom. Instead, give your eyes some rest to get back to normal.

2. Eye Discomfort

Many people get eye discomfort or inflammation while looking at the sun directly. Your eyes could get puffy and turn bloodshot. However, it could be a temporary eye condition. If this symptom gets worsen after a few days, make sure to contact a doctor.

3. Teary Eyes

Getting teary eyes is a common eye symptom of UV or sun exposure. However, you can get teary eyes for any other eye problem rather than sun damage. If you are getting a sunburn, you will notice an increase in tear flow.

4. Noticing Halos

Another common symptom that most people get after spending too much time under the sun. Many people notice rings of light around bright objects if they are having a corneal sunburn. However, it does not cause permanent eye damage. Make sure you are stepping away from the sun as soon as you are experiencing halos.

5. Light Sensitivity

Just like observing halos, light sensitivity is another symptom you can experience while having sun damage. If you are looking for a long time, it will feel extra painful in your eyes. That’s why you need to use a pair of goggles always.


You see some eye problems don’t need any extra treatment, they could heal with time. However, there are some problems that are really serious. So, they need more attention. You can try out a few treatments at home:

  • Keep yourself from rubbing your eyes.
  • Get a cool compress and place it over closed eyes.
  • You can also use some eye drops.
  • Skipping eye makeup could be good prevention.
  • Don’t forget to keep your eyes clear after having a long day under the sun.
  • Always use a pair of sunglasses.
  • If you are suspecting a serious eye damage symptom, make sure to contact a doctor as soon as possible.

Where to be Careful

There are some moments where you have to be more careful about sun damage. You should know the sunlight and ultraviolet radiation could be intense in different environments.

Artificial UV Light

Not only sunlight produces UV rays, but there are also many sources of artificial UV light such as reptile basking bulbs and welding machines. If you are involved with these types of activities, make sure to wear a pair of UV-protected sunglasses.

On The Mountain

When sunlight is reflecting off the snow, it could affect your eyes. In that case, you always need to wear a pair of goggles while doing activities including mountain climbing, skiing, and snowboarding.

By Water

Just like the snow, sunlight could reflect off the water and could cause UV exposure. So, if you are spending time in such places as the beach, pool, or lake, make sure you are having proper protection.


Finally, you know how sun and UV exposure could cause eye problems. However, it’s always better to have prevention first. We hope you can implement the at-home treatments. If you get a serious eye problem because of sun exposure, make sure to contact a doctor.