It can take some time to adjust to a new climate – this is particularly true for your eyes. Increased hours of sunshine and UV ray exposure can lead to photophobia, a condition that makes the eyes sore and more sensitive to light.
To help you understand this eye condition a little better, we’ll take a look at how sunlight and UVB can cause phobophobia, and how you can protect your eyes against them.
How do sunlight and UVB
rays cause photophobia?
Sunlight is made up of a number of light rays, some of which are visible, and others which are invisible, such as UV rays. There are three different types of UV ray: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While UV energy can be beneficial in small amounts for absorbing vitamin D into the body, high amounts (especially if you aren’t using proper protection) can have a negative effect on your vision — triggering photophobia. UVB rays are the most damaging when it comes to their impact on our eyes.
Most UVB rays are absorbed by the front parts of the eye — the cornea and the lens. The cornea controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye, acting as a filter to protect the lens and the retina from UV radiation. Frequent and unprotected exposure to UVB rays, however, can have a damaging effect on the cornea.
UV light reflected from the sand and sea can lead to photokeratitis, a condition which affects both the cornea and the conjunctiva. Without proper protection, UVB rays can penetrate the cornea, causing it to become sunburned. Common symptoms of photokeratitis include dry eyes, soreness, and light sensitivity. Harmful UVB rays have also been found to increase the risk of cataracts.1