How the Sun Can Damage Your Eyes

Just as sunlight damages the skin, it can also damage the eyes. The sun emits UV rays which can be harmful to our eyes after prolonged exposure. Our eyelids are particularly vulnerable due to their thin skin and fragile tissues. Without the right protection, your eyes could suffer from some serious, long-term issues.

Macular DegenerationHow the Sun Can Damage Your Eyes

Macular degeneration is a disease that leads to progressive loss of your vision, leaving you with blurred vision or no vision at all. It’s caused by gradual damage to the eye’s retina, and one way that the retina can be damaged is by being exposed to too many UV rays for too long.


Cataracts are a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye and, if left untreated, can lead to vision loss. UV rays, especially UVB rays, are known to cause some forms of cataracts, with about 10% of cataract cases attributed to UV exposure.

Corneal Sunburn

Your skin can burn when you stand out in the sun for too long, and so can your eyes. Corneal sunburn is the result of excessive exposure to UV rays which burn the eye’s cornea, the area of the eye necessary for admitting light into the retina.

Skin Cancer

High exposure to UV radiation can lead to skin cancer all over the body, including the area around the eyes and the eyelids. Eyelid cancers usually appear on the lower lid, as this area receives the most sun exposure, but if caught early, they respond well to surgery and follow-up care.


Sometimes called “surfer’s eye,” pterygium is a growth on the surface of the eyeball that can block your vision. They typically occur in people who spend long periods of time outdoors, exposed to the sun.

What can be done to prevent this?

The best way to prevent UV damage to your eyes is to wear sunglasses. Whether it’s bright or cloudy out, you should always have a pair handy. So, if you’re lacking a pair, then take a look at our selection. At Real Shades, we offer a wide variety of sunglasses, all of which offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.