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Sunscreen and your Eyes


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.

Individuals who have regrettably gotten sunblock in their eyes are aware how much it can sting. A real strong rub in the eye can even result in stinging that lasts for hours. It can take a long time until the victim can feel comfortable enough to open his eyes, particularly in the glaring sun.

There's no doubt rubbing sunblock in your eyes can ruin a day of fun in the sun. While the discomfort will probably last for a while, relief will come more quickly with the right care.

The best treatment is immediately flushing the eye out with a stream of water for a while. Doing so will rinse the sunscreen out of the eye but it may not relieve the discomfort at once. While it won't help to remove the sunscreen, applying cool, wet compresses to the eyes may have a soothing effect. Applying eye drops such as Visine may be useful in rinsing out the eye, but it is likely they will burn.

Even after the eyes are flushed, it is normal for vision to be somewhat blurry. If pain persists after a significant amount of time contact your eye care professional.


  1. Do not spray sunblock straight on the face.

  2. Don't let small children put on sunscreen alone.

  3. Keep lotion out of reach of children.

  4. Rub sunscreen in completely.

  5. Do not apply sunscreen too close to the eyes.

  6. Wear large sunglasses to protect the eyes and the surrounding areas from ultraviolet rays.