How to Protect Yourself from the Painful Eye Condition Photokeratitis

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Playing What Can Happen if Your Eyes are Over-Exposed to UV Rays?

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Exposing your eyes to excessive UV rays could cause a painful eye condition called photokeratitis. Find out what you can do to possibly prevent it.

The Doctors warn this condition can occur when your eyes are not protected properly while being exposed to ultraviolet light, especially when you are out in the elements where sand, water, and snow are present. They say this condition is often referred to as "snow blindness," as some people who are out in the snow without eye protection can develop it.

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Photokeratitis affects the eye's cornea and can cause a burning feeling. Other symptoms can include eye pain, red and watery eyes. blurred vision, headache, a feeling of grittiness on the eyes, and light sensitivity.

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To avoid photokeratitis, one should wear sunglasses -- even on cloudy days -- and a wide-brimmed hat while outdoors. If you are enjoying a winter sport, googles that block UV radiation and light are suggested. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says despite the pain and problems that photokeratitis can cause, the eye is capable of healing and recovering from the condition.