Photokeratitis means you’ve burned the cornea in your eyes by over exposing them to intense ultraviolet rays. Snow blindness and arc eye are commonly used to refer to this eye condition because it can be caused by the light reflection off snow at high altitude and the flash of welding. So failure to use proper protective eye wear while skiing or welding can result in a burned cornea. Looking at the sun during a solar eclipse, lights of a tanning bed or reflection of the sun off sand and water are other sources of light rays powerful enough to burn the cornea.
The sensation of sand in your eye is what photokeratitis feels like. Other snow blindness symptoms are eye pain and redness, excessive tearing, photophobia, swollen eyelids, blepharospasm and reduced vision problems. You will not likely experience symptoms during the exposure, but instead several hours later.
Fortunately, photokeratitis naturally heals itself within a day or two. Arc eye treatment involves resting your eyes while the damaged corneas regenerate. Painkillers and keeping the light out of your eyes helps treat your discomfort. Your health care provider treating protocol of photokeratitis typically includes topical anaesthesia and antibiotic eye drops to guard against an eye infection.
Preventing photokeratitis is simply matter of wearing adequate UV eye protection. Be it welder’s glasses or powerful wrap around sunglasses while skiing, you must put them on regardless of how long you’ll be looking in bright conditions.