Houston, TX | Can eyes get sunburned? [Ask Dr. Fred Mattioli] | Mattioli Vision Professionals
Hey everyone. This is dr. Fred Mattioli. Welcome to our video sessions. And today we'll be talking about some interesting topics and hopefully, it will be helpful to you and answer some questions.
So, a lot of people want to know about how do you know if your eyes are sunburned? Well, we don't really get the typical sunburn that you think of in the rest of your body, but there is a skin layer over the white part of the eye, which can be damaged by ultraviolet or sunlight so it's very important to protect your eyes. If you wear contacts or glasses, that has some UV protection in it, so that's good, but if you're in a contact lens, it doesn't cover the entire white part of the eye, obviously, so make sure you wear sunglasses on top of that. If you don't wear glasses, you don't need prescription glasses, maybe you had LASIK or PRK, one of the great refractive procedures so you don't need any contacts or glasses. Then it's also very important, obviously, to wear sunglasses and protect your eyes from UV damage.
If the eyes start to get damaged from too much UV sunlight, you could feel scratchiness, dryness, the eyes could obviously turn a bit red or injected. So a lot of times just lubricating drops are helpful in alleviating and relieving a lot of those symptoms. It's hard to say how long something like this may last, it comes and goes, so anytime you're outside, always protect your eyes.
So UV exposure, sunlight entering our eyes, obviously through our entire life, can cause some damage to the eyes. On the front surface, it could be things like pterygium or skin changes. In the back of the eye, where the light goes all the way straight through to the back, of course, we can see things forming such as cataracts or even more serious damage in the back of the eye, along the retina. So it's always important to protect your eyes from UV.
So if you think maybe your eyes got sunburned, you're out in the sun too long, they're irritating bothering, you can try some lubricating drops, hopefully preservative-free, that would be a better option, preservative-free eye drops, just lubricating and try to avoid things like "gets the red out", those types of eyedrops for whitening, this is really just lubrication. But if you think it's something pretty serious, it's always important to see your ophthalmologist. Make sure you get a good eye exam and that's an easy way to make sure that your eyes are safe.