Effects of the sun on the eyes

Summer is just around the corner. The days are getting longer and, therefore, we are more exposed to sunlight. It is well known that it is necessary to protect your eyes with good glasses throughout the year, but even more so during these months.

How can unprotected exposure affect our eyesight?

The sun emits UV radiation that affects our tissues in multiple ways. In addition to changing the color of our skin, this radiation has an aging effect and in the long run can cause really serious problems such as melanomas, which are a type of skin cancer.

They also have very negative effects on our eyes, which can range from simple irritation to total loss of vision.

Mild pathologies:


Occasional overexposure, but prolonged throughout a day at the beach, for example, can cause conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation of the tissue that covers the sclera (white part of the eye). Our eyes will turn red and we will begin to notice blurred vision and the need to blink constantly.


In this case, the inflammation occurs on our cornea, the transparent part in front of the pupil. Normally, the effects are not so immediate and may appear the next day in the form of burning, irritation, photophobia and constant tearing.

What to do in these cases?

Both in the case of conjunctivitis and keratitis, it is best to always go to the ophthalmologist to give us the most appropriate treatment depending on the state of the inflammation.

More serious pathologies:


It has been shown that continued exposure to sunlight can significantly accelerate the appearance of cataracts. Let us remember that cataracts appear when our lens, due to age, ages and hardens. UV rays accelerate this aging process and, therefore, the appearance of cataracts. The effects of cataracts on our vision translate into poor vision in general, more blurred and with less ability to discern colors.


It is an abnormal growth of the conjunctiva above our cornea, which in the most serious cases can directly affect our visual field. Its appearance can be caused by multiple factors, but excess unprotected sunlight has been shown to accelerate its growth.

  • AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration):

Like pterygium, AMD can be caused by different factors, many of them genetic. Even so, we must be aware that, without protection, UV rays penetrate directly to our retina and cause damage. This will predispose our retina to suffer or develop diseases such as Macular Degeneration.

How to protect yourself safely?

The answer is obvious: with sunglasses. Now, not just any sunglasses will protect us. They must be CE approved glasses. Typical street-market glasses or glasses without any type of approval will not have the appropriate filters. Not only will this not provide us with any type of protection, but it will accelerate the negative effects and the appearance of injuries.

Another tip is to keep your eyes well hydrated. To do this, it is best to apply artificial tears from time to time, which will help us avoid dry eyes.

In short, protect yourself safely and, in the event that any of these pathologies appear, always go to the ophthalmologist to receive the appropriate diagnosis.