Photokeratitis and Photoconjunctivitis

We know we’ve said this countless times before, but it is truly important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you don’t, you could end up with painful and serious eye conditions such as photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis. Read on to learn more:

What are photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis?Photokeratitis and Photoconjunctivitis

Photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis are two very similar eye conditions, both caused by damage to the eye from UV rays. The main difference between the two is that photokeratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, while photoconjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane lining the inside of the eyelids and eye socket). They’re essentially like having a sunburn on your eye.

What are the symptoms?

Similar to a sunburn on the skin, the symptoms come on within a day or so, and usually only last up to 48 hours. Symptoms can include:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Tearing
  • Headaches
  • Eyelid twitching
  • Seeing halos
  • Gritty sensation
  • Temporary loss of vision

Snow blindness

A more common and severe form of photokeratitis is actually snow blindness. Snow blindness is also caused by UV rays, but by those reflective off of ice and/or snow, causing similar symptoms as photokeratitis such as pain, headaches, blurred vision, and temporary loss of vision.

How to prevent photokeratitis and photoconjunctivitis

The best way to prevent these painful eye conditions is to prevent UV rays from reaching your eye. To do this, you should wear sunglasses during all seasons, and snow goggles when you’re out skiing or snowboarding in the winter time. If you’re in need of a pair of shades, then take a look at our selection here at Real Shades. We offer sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection, so they’ll be sure to protect your eyes from a painful condition like photokeratitis or photoconjunctivitis.