Optometrists in Australia are warning people that aside from their skin their eyes can get sunburn too.
A teenager from Queensland experienced sunburn in a weird way all because it wasn’t her skin that got the brunt of the sun’s rays but her eyes suffered from it.
Bonita De Brincat, a year 12 student, enjoyed the summer by heading out to the beach for some fun on the water like every other teenager her age.
She said that she lathered her whole body with sunscreen to keep the sun’s UV rays from doing any damage to her skin but she didn’t think that her eyes would need any protection since it never occurred to her that those parts of her body would get sunburn.
But after a couple of hours at the beach she realized that something was wrong with her eyes.
She said that her eyes started to get sore and the sun’s rays bouncing off the water and straight into her eyes were what caused it.
Bonita’s sunburned eyes not only became red but it became painful as well and she had to lie down and avoid any activities for two days.
She said that she had to hold an ice pack over her head and lay down on a bed because the pain was unbearable.
Luke Arundel, a doctor working with Optometry Australia, said that people who stay under the sun should not just protect their skin from UV rays but they should also protect their eyes, otherwise, they will suffer from photokeratitis, which is the equivalent of getting sunburn on your skin.
Photokeratitis is a painful eye condition that happens when a person’s eyes are exposed to too much UV rays.
Arundel advises people to wear sunglasses all the time while outside the house.
Bonita De Brincat learned that the hard way but the smart teenager now wears sunglasses whenever she goes out.
She said that people her age should protect their eyes at all times because they often neglect that part of their bodies whenever they go out of the house.
It’s good advice as well since children have much more sensitive eyes compared to adults.
According to optometrists children’s eyes are at risk of macular degeneration, cataract and even eye cancer if not protected.
Macular degeneration is often an age-related condition wherein people above 60 suffer from loss of vision.
But teenagers who do not protect their eyes from UV rays can also be at risk from this debilitating condition.
Arundel also advised that parents should purchase effective protective sunglasses for their children instead of buying them eye wear that are fancy.A lot of fancy sunglasses do not sport lenses capable of preventing UV rays from entering the wearer’s eyes. So Arundel advises his patients to buy authentic anti-UV ray sunglasses to ensure that the wearer’s eyes are at all times protected from harmful rays.