Eye Injuries Caused by Ultraviolet (UV) Light
Ultraviolet (UV) light can cause serious flash burns to the Reference cornea Opens New Window from a source of radiation like the sun or lights.
- High-intensity light from welding equipment. Wear a welding mask or goggles for protection.
- Sunlight (ultraviolet rays). This is especially true at elevations above 5000 ft (1524 m) or when the sun glares off snow or water. Looking into the sun for long periods of time can cause permanent loss of vision by damaging the Reference retina Opens New Window. Wear sunglasses that filter ultraviolet (UV) light for protection.
- Tanning booths or sunlamps. Wear sunglasses or specially designed goggles for protection.
Symptoms may not start for 6 to 12 hours after exposure to the ultraviolet light. Symptoms include:
- A feeling that something is in the eyes (foreign body sensation).
- Sensitivity to light (Reference photophobia Opens New Window).
Ultraviolet injuries to the eyelids usually don't involve the eyeball because the blink reflex protects the eyeball. If the eyes are tightly closed, the edges of the eyelids may also be protected.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 2, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine