Your eyes are the only internal tissue in your body exposed to UV light. They are exposed every day of the year, even in cloudy conditions. Overexposure to daylight can lead to a variety of eye problems – some of them serious. These include:
- What is it: A painful eye condition that affects the surface of the cornea, effectively sun-burning the eye. It is triggered by very bright snowy conditions, or when sunlight reflects off sand and water.
- How to spot it: Pain, redness, light sensitivity, headaches, halos.
- Treatment: It should disappear naturally over a few days – avoid wearing contact lenses. Keeping away from sunlight and using eye drops can help. If the problem persists, stronger antibiotic eye-drop may be prescribed.
- What is it: People who spend long hours outdoors – particularly in intense sunlight – may develop growths on their eyes, called pterygium. Those most at risk include farmers, skiers, fishermen and surfers. That’s why the condition is known as ‘surfer’s eye’.
- How to spot it: Redness, inflammation, foreign body sensation, dry and itchy eyes.
- Treatment: Discomfort from growths can be treated with eye drops or irradiation of the eye. Surgery is only required at an advanced stage.