How The Sun Can Damage Your Eyes  - R. Woodfall Opticians of London
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How The Sun Can Damage Your Eyes 

Here at R Woodfall, we know what’s best when it comes to all things eye health. This is why we continually stress the importance of looking after your eyes during summer! The sun emits a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, most notably ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVA and UVB rays are incredibly harmful to your eyes after a period of time. In fact, prolonged exposure can cause short-term discomfort and potentially lead to long-term vision problems too. This is why it’s imperative that you pay attention to your eyes in the sun and ensure they’re protected. 

Here’s some of the ways the sun could potentially damage your eyes.

Short term discomfort 

Overexposure to the sun can potentially cause some temporary discomfort or pain to your eyes that you should avoid. 


This temporary condition is like having sunburn on your eyes, it’s painful and uncomfortable and happens when you’re overexposed to UV rays. Symptoms of photokeratitis include: redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and even tearing. 

Long term conditions 

There are a number of eye conditions that sun damage can contribute to. These conditions are long term, and associated with prolonged UV exposure. 


Prolonged UV exposure can also lead to a condition called pterygium. This condition causes the growth of a pterygium (which is a non-cancerous growth on the conjunctiva) that can extend onto the cornea. It can cause redness, irritation, and, in more severe cases, impact vision.


Cataracts are mainly age-related, but overexposure to UV rays over time is thought to contribute to the development of them. UV radiation has been linked to cataracts, so it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun to potentially help prevent this. 

Cataracts can cause blurry vision, sensitivity to glare, and reduced colour perception.

Protecting your eyes from the sun

During the summer months it’s important that you take precaution when it comes to your eyes. There are a number of ways to protect them from harmful UV rays. Below are a few ways we would recommend you do this:

Wear sunglasses: certain sunglasses block out 100% of all UVA and UVB rays. Here at R Woodfall, we stock a variety of sunglasses to protect your eyes whilst still looking stylish. 

Visit your local optician: Scheduling regular eye exams with an eye care professional is very beneficial to your eye health. Eyecare experts such as ourselves can monitor the health of your eyes and catch any potential issues early.

Limit exposure to the sun: during summer, try to avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors during peak sunlight hours.
By taking these precautions and being mindful of your eye health, you can minimise the risk of sun-related eye damage and maintain good vision over the long term. For more information, feel free to contact our team of professionals, here at R Woodfall.