Sunburned eyes are usually characterized by sunburns under or around the eyes or the corneal burn. Explore facts, pictures, causes, signs, and symptoms of sunburned eyes. Furthermore, learn how you can get rid of them with medical treatments and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
Signs and Symptoms of Sunburned eyes
Sunburn on the eyes is a common problem that you might have encountered at some point in your life. This condition can occur in your eyes when you are exposed to harmful rays or energy radiations from the sun or artificial light source.
Your eyeball is covered by delicate thin transparent skin layers called corner and sclera. The eye pupil and iris are lined by cornea while the eye white has sclera or conjunctiva layer. These are parts of the eyes that are more susceptible to sunburns.
In addition, sunburns can also occur on the skin around the eyes. These include the lower and the upper eyelids. The sunburns on under and around the eyes can lead to redness, tender, and inflammation of your eyelids.
The condition of having painful eyes due to exposure to harmful UV rays is known as photokeratitis. Besides feeling eye pains, sunburn on your eye can also be characterized by the following signs and symptoms. They include:
- Redness in eye white
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Blurred vision
- Swollen, tender or inflamed eyelids
- High eye sensitivity to bright light
- Tearing and watery eyes
- Eye pupils become too small
- Twitching of the eyelids
- Seeing black spot in vision
- Halos in vision
- Feeling headache in forehead region
- Temporally loss of vision
These symptoms may range from mild to chronic depending on the duration you exposed your eyes to harmful UV-rays. Longer exposure of your eyes to harmful UV rays can lead to severe or serious eye damage.
Causes of Sunburned eyes
Your eyes can develop sunburns when you are exposed to various sources of harmful UV rays. The common sources of UV rays that can damage your eyes include:
The sun is a natural major source of UV rays that cause your eyes to develop sunburns. Your eyes have delicate skin layer that can easily be damaged sunlight. This can occur when you look directly into the sunlight.
Sunlight reflection can also lead to photokeratitis on your eyes. Solar reflection from snow, ice, water, and sand might also be harmful to your eyes. These UV rays reflective surface can burn your eyes more and seriously than UV rays from direct sunlight.
Furthermore, looking direct on solar eclipse during the day or the night without the use of eye protection glasses can lead to sunburned eyes. A solar eclipse is always accompanied by harmful invisible radiations that can burn your eyes.
Similar to sunburns on the face, sun damage on your eye may range from mild to more serious. Mild sunburns on the eyes only affect the outmost skin layer of the eyeball. The corneal damage is temporal and it can heal within few days.
However, serious eye damage by UV rays might burn the retina of your eyes. This might have a permanent eye problem such as blurred vision and blind spot in your vision. Chronic sunburns on your eyes can also result in permanent loss of your vision.
2. Artificial UV-rays sources
The man-made light source can also produce harmful UV rays that might have a consequence of corneal burns on your eyes. Prolonged exposure of your eyes to UV lamps can have a similar eye damage that resembles sunburns.
There are several types of the artificial light sources that can produce harmful UV light. Some of them include the following:
- Tanning beds: the tanning beds have powerful UV lamps that can burn your eyes seriously especially if the light hit directly on your eyes.
- Welding Arc: the light that is produced in from welding arc has a strong harmful UV ray that can lead to chronic burns on your eye retina.
- Electric light bulb: some types of the home electric light bulb may produce harmful radiation that can lead to corneal burns on your eyes.
- Photographic flashlight: the illuminated light from photographic flood lamps has both invisible and visible radiations that can burn your eyes.
- Electronic screens. Television, computers and mobile phone screens are common sources of UVA and UVB radiations that might have a consequence of corneal burns.
- Hydrogen lamps: this is a desk lamp that can cause sunburned eyes if you stare at it for a long
- Electric sparks: high voltage electric can spark UV rays due to the fault of positive and negative charges meeting.
- Carbon arc: prolonged look on carbon arc can burn delicate skin on your eyeballs.
- Lightning: this is a rare source UV light that can damage your eyes that may occur due to atmospheric electrical charges.
Corneal sunburns involve the damage of outer transparent skin layer that lines the eyeball specifically the iris and pupil by UV rays. Corneal burns also include the damage to the eye conjunctiva or sclera layer.
Other than the damage of ultraviolet radiation, the corrosive chemical can also lead to corneal burn on your eye. Corneal flash burns are usually very painful that can lead to excessive tearing, blurry vision, burning and light sensitive eye that can make you feel a discomfort.
Corneal burns on your eye may range from mild to severe. For the case of a severe corneal burn, it is advisable to seek the help of the eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
How to Get Rid of Sunburned Eyes
You can use various treatment methods to get rid of sunburnt eyes. You can use home remedies or medical treatment. Home remedies can be effective to treat mild burns on your eyes that cannot advance into a more serious eye condition.
Alternatively, you can go for medical treatment by visiting your doctor in case your eye has severe sunburns. Medical treatment is an effective method that can help to restore serious eye damage that is likely to advance into a health complication.
The eye doctor may use the suitable diagnosis method to determine the burns on your eye. The doctor might use physical examination on your eyes with the help of fluorescein dyes eye drops to look for the damage of UV rays.
After diagnosis, your doctor may give you the appropriate medical treatment that can help to heal the eye problem. The common treatment methods that your doctor might use to solve your eye problem include the following:
- Prescription of oral drugs such as pain-killers that can help to relieve pain and inflamed eyes
- Prescription of artificial tear that can help to soothe your sunburned eyes
- Giving you antibiotic eye drops that can help in the healing of sunburns
You can use the following home remedies that can help to treat sunburn on your eyes. Try the following methods that include:
1. Cold compress
Cold compressing your burned eyes can help to relieve pain instantly to facilitate the healing process.
How to use:
- Soak a washcloth into a basin of ice cold water for few seconds
- Place the soaked washcloth over the affected eye for about 10 minutes
- Repeat to cold compress it several times until pain on your eye stops.
Fresh milk is an effective home remedy that can help to treat sunburned eyes. Milk drops have the ability to soothe burning sensation and relieve eye pains.
How to use:
- Get 2 teaspoons of fresh milk
- Fill the dropper with the milk
- Put few drops directly to affected eyeball
- Close your eyelid for 5 minutes
- Repeat to apply it twice daily until you get a relief
3. Raw honey
Row honey has medicinal value that can help to heal sunburns on your eyes. it can also help to soothe the eye from irritations and relieve red inflamed eyes.
How to use:
- Get 2 teaspoons of raw honey
- Fill a dropper with the honey
- Place few drops to the affected eye
- Close your eyes for few minutes
- Rinse your eye with water
- Repeat this steps three times daily until eye burns go away
4. Olive oil
Olive oil is an excellent home remedy you can use to treat corneal sunburns. The oil can also help to soothe itchy or painful eyes to facilitate the healing. In addition, olive oil can help to moisten and lubricate your eyeball.
How to use:
- Fill the dropper with olive oil
- Put few drops to the affected eye
- Close your eye for about 10 minutes
- Rinse it off with water
- Repeat to apply it three times in a day until you are relieved
You can use cucumber as a home remedy to treat sunburned eyes. Cucumber has medicinal values that can soothe painful eyes to relieve corneal burns.
How to use:
- Cut one cucumber into slices
- Place a slice of cucumber over the eyelid of a burnt eye
- Let it stay there for 20 minutes
- Remove it and rinse your eyes with cold water
- Repeat this treatment twice daily until you get a relief
How to Prevent Sunburned Eyes
You can prevent your eyes from getting sunburns by using the following tips:
- Avoid direct and long exposure to sunlight by staying indoors
- Always wear eye protective sunglasses that can help to block harmful UV rays
- Protect your eyes by wearing hat or use umbrella when exposed to sunlight
- Avoid looking on shiny reflective surfaces such as snow, ice, water, and sand when the sun is very bright in the sky
- Use UV light protective eyeglasses when making observation of solar eclipse in the sky during the night or daytime
- Use electric lighting bulbs that are UV-rays free
- Avoid the habit of prolonged watching of television or computer screen
- Avoid direct look at artificial sources of light such as tanning bed lamps, hydrogen lamps, and welding arc
- Apply SPF creams or lotion around your eyes to protect eyelids when exposed to sunlight
When to See a Doctor
It is advisable to see you doctor over sunburned eyes if you notice the following eye condition that includes:
- When burns on your eyes are causing severe pain, irritation or burning sensation that lasts for more than one week
- When sunburn lead to blurry vision, blind spots and loss of vision
- When the sunburns on your eyes lead to a chronic sensitivity to light
- If corneal burns are accompanied by red bloody spots in eye whites
- When the eye burns are associated with other strange symptoms such as headaches, blisters inside the eyelid or any other