We all know the feeling that you get when you accidentally look at something that’s too bright – you may experience eye pain, and your gut reaction will be to squint or turn your head. When we were kids, our friends and our curiosity probably tempted us to try to stare into the sun anyway, but as our parents and teachers always said: “Don’t look directly at the sun!”
It may go without saying, but that’s incredibly good advice. Staring directly at the sun can be very harmful to your eyes and cause permanent damage.
The painful sensation that you experience when you look directly at the sun is the physical effect of sunburn on your eyeballs, says Gizmodo. When the cells of your eye – especially the very sensitive cornea – experience direct and unfiltered sunlight, particularly harmful UV rays, they begin to blister and crack, almost like what happens to your skin if you stay outside too long without sunscreen.
Sunburn of the eye is called photokeratitis, notes the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and can be caused both by looking up directly into the UV light of the sun or by the reflection of those harmful UV rays on sand, water, ice or snow. Symptoms of photokeratitis include pain, redness, blurred vision, excessive tearing, headache and swelling. The symptoms for a brief exposure usually dissipate after a few hours, but prolonged exposure over time can cause chronic and painful damage to your eyes.
The best way to prevent photokeratitis is to wear protective eyewear when you’re outside, and we’re not even talking about medical-grade eye gear! Sunglasses that have a protective UV coating painted onto the lenses offer an exceptional layer of protection for your eyes, so all you have to do is remember to grab them before you leave the house.
And, you should pick up a pair for your kiddos, like any of our Real Kids shades. Their eyes are super sensitive to the sun’s harmful rays, too!
Children are particularly susceptible to damage from the sun’s rays, and proper prevention should start early to ensure a lifetime of undamaged vision. Real Kids sunglasses offer UVA and UVA protection, ensuring that the harmful rays don’t damage the eyes of your kids. If you’re heading out for fun in the sun, don’t forget the sunscreen – both for your skin and great sunglasses for your eyes! Order your pair of glasses today for kids or for youngsters or call us at 800-283-1106 to learn more.