We all enjoy the sunshine and the sun. Many of us love going to the beach on a sunny day to relax and chill. But, have you ever wondered what harm UV light that comes out of the sun can do to the eyes and directly to the cornea of the eyes?

Well, have you heard about the eye condition called Photokeratitis? If not, this is your chance to know, to rethink while stepping out in the sun and while seeing the sun’s rays with your naked eyes for too long. Here, let’s have a quick look at the basics of photokeratitis.

What is Photokeratitis?

Photokeratitis develops due to direct exposure to the ultraviolet rays (UV light) that comes out of the sunny and bright sun. It can give a temporary loss but it directly affects the cornea of the eyes causing intense pain. Though, it may not always require medical assistance but is always better to consult an eye specialist if the symptoms do not reduce.

What are the main causes of Photokeratitis?

The main cause of photokeratitis is said to be the harm caused by the direct sunlight coming out of the sun. But, as there is a different layer of UV rays, the study states that UV-A and UV-B have more impact in causing photokeratitis. Also, other than this, some minor factors causing this condition are:

1.Sunlight reflecting from outer sources can be a sharp light eye such as (Ice, snow, or water-cement).

2. Different types of lamps are used for different purposes such as desk lamps.

3. Arc welding machines

4. Laser lights

5. Lightning in the sky

What are the main symptoms of Photokeratitis?

A person with photokeratitis eye condition may experience any one or more of the following signs and symptoms.

1.Pain and discomfort in the eyes

2. Redness, itchiness in the eyes or tearing in the eyes.

3. Light sensitivity.

4. Watery eyes

5. Eyelid twitching

6. Halos and glares

7. Some other discomforting sensations felt in the eyes

Simple steps to diagnose Photokeratitis

1. communication is done between the patient and the doctor to discuss recent activities to understand what may have led to this condition.

2. Next is a careful eye examination that helps the doctor understand the deep roots of the cause and the condition.

3. Finally, as the doctor proceeds with his examination, specific eye drops are used to see the exact damage caused by the UV light rays.

How to treat photokeratitis?

1. Firstly, a few immediate steps should be as given below

2. Go indoors and go inside a dark room to avoid any more light sensitivity.

3. Carefully remove your contact lenses (If you wear contact lenses).

4. Keep your eyes closed for a while to see if relaxing may help.

5. Avoid rubbing, touching or scratching your eyes.


1. What is the cause of photokeratitis?

The major cause of photokeratitis is excessive exposure to the direct rays of sunlight which are also called UV light rays. These rays are harmful and put intense pain in the eyes.

2. How is photokeratitis diagnosed?

A quick diagnosis of photokeratitis includes 3 simple steps

1. Doctor’s direct interaction with the patient to learn his recent activities to determine the cause.

2. Eye examination to see the condition inside the eyes.

3. Eye drops are used to examine the damage caused by UV rays. 

3. What is the common name for photokeratitis?

Arc eye and snow blindness are the most common names of a photokeratitis eye condition. All of these names state a burn caused due to direct exposure to UV rays or the rays of the sunlight.

4. What does photokeratitis look like?

The eye condition of photokeratitis looks just similar to sunburn but this burn directly affects the cornea of the eyes. This condition is painful, and difficult to manage but is often a temporary eye concern if treated within time and followed proper remedy, it heals to normal.

5. Is photokeratitis an emergency?  

Though the condition of photokeratitis is temporary it does result in urgent admission of the patient at the time it occurs. The direct UV rays getting into the eyes and harming the cornea can get severe problems if not treated immediately.

6. What is the treatment of photokeratitis?

Some of the effective treatments are using ointment, oral medications or artificial tears. But, it is necessary to make sure that any medication is used if prescribed by the doctor.


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