When you look around the room, what do you see? Do you see everything clearly, or are there spots in your visual field that are a bit blurry or fuzzy? If your answer is the latter, you need to see an optometrist for an assessment. In fact, it is a good idea to see an optometrist once a year whether or not you are actually noticing any changes to your vision. Optometrists offer vital services for us all. If you're seeking a better understanding of those services, then we invite you to read the articles provided on this blog, which is all about optometrists and their work.
Believe it or not, eyes are susceptible to sunburns just like the rest of the body is. The symptoms are a little different because the type of tissues are different but share enough similarities that most people can figure out what's going on with their eyes just from the pain and the time spent in the sun. If you feel like your eyes got too much sun, chances are that they did. Here's what you should do about it.
See an Eye Doctor
Your very first step should be setting up an appointment to see an eye doctor. They specialize in everything to do with the eyes and can quickly diagnose an eye sunburn by looking into your eyes with an ophthalmoscope, which is specialized vision equipment. While your general physician might be able to help, they'd likely just give you a referral to an eye doctor anyway, so this is the best place to start.
When you see your eye doctor, you should discuss your symptoms with them right away. Of course they'll be able to tell by looking at your eyes what's going on, but a list of symptoms will help them to narrow their diagnosis.
Symptoms of this condition typically include itchiness and dryness of the eyes, visible redness, and sometimes mild swelling of the eye and surrounding tissues. You may also have some blurriness to your vision.
Thankfully, most eye sunburns are easily treated. After your eye doctor has made a diagnosis and determined that it's an eye sunburn, they'll end the exam and talk to you about treatment.
Every person is different, and it will ultimately depend upon how much damage you've done to your eyes, but your doctor will likely prescribe a numbing agent and potentially steroid eye drops. The former will help with any pain and itchiness you're having, while the second will bring down inflammation and protect the eye while it recovers from this condition. Make sure to follow your eye doctor's directions precisely with these medications for them to reach their full efficacy.
In the future, there are ways that you can prevent eye sunburns. Start by always wearing sunglasses when you're out during the daytime, and make sure to never look directly at the sun. Ideally, a hat will also help to keep the sun out of your eyes. You can also ask your ophthalmology provider directly for advice on this condition.