Eye damage from bright light


Your eyes can be damaged by bright light. For example, if the sun is shining brightly on snow, sea or white sand. It’s called being snow blind. The eyes can also be damaged if you look directly at a welding flame. Then it is called a welding glare. The trouble usually goes by itself.

The trouble can be alleviated by being in the dark. Sometimes you may need eye ointment. You may also need to protect your eyes from light for a few days, for example with sunglasses.

Always protect your eyes from bright light to prevent damage. This is true even if you solarium.

Symptoms of eye damage after bright light

When the cornea of ​​the eye is damaged by excessive light or welding, it causes severe irritation to the eyes. You usually notice it six to twelve hours after looking at the bright light. Then you may have some of the following problems:

  • You get aches in the eyes.
  • The eyes are sensitive to light.
  • Tears form in the eyes.
  • Your eyes are red.
  • Your vision is worse.
  • It feels like you have grit in your eyes.
  • You may have trouble keeping your eyes open.
  • It can twitch in the eyelids.

When and where should I seek care?

The vast majority of people who have received eye damage from bright light do not need to seek care because the problems usually go away by themselves.

If you experience any of the following, contact a health care center  or an  on-call reception  immediately  :

  • The trouble has not diminished after two days.
  • You get more pain in your eye or eyes after two days.
  • The vision gets even worse after two days.

If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

What can I do for myself?

The injury usually goes away by itself after one to two days. There are a few things you can do to relieve the hassle and facilitate healing.

Be in the dark

It is good to protect your eyes from light when you have an eye injury from strong light, for example during snow blindness or welding glare. Being in the dark helps. Then the trouble usually goes away by itself within a day. Sometimes it can take a few days. Avoid watching bright TV screens or computer screens.

Eye ointment can relieve pain

You can relieve the hassle by using the prescription eye ointment Oculentum Simplex. The ointment is softening. Grease gently with the ointment on the lower eyelid. The ointment can make you experience the vision as foggy. Therefore, it may be good to take the ointment when you do not need to use your eyes so much, for example when you are going to sleep. But you can take it both in the evening and in the day.


You can use any analgesic containing paracetamol for the pain. For example, it could be Alvedon or Pamol.

Treatment of eye damage from bright light

You need to see a doctor if you have tried to treat yourself with ointment and the hassles do not go over. Sometimes you may need other medicines.

The eyes may also need to be protected from light for a few days. For example, you can use sunglasses and a sun hat, cap or screen cap if you need to go out.

How can I prevent eye damage from bright light?

There are several ways to avoid getting eye damage from excessive light. You can try one or more of the following tips:

  • Wear sunglasses when in strong sunlight. They filter out the UV radiation and protect the eyes.
  • Wear tinted ski goggles with UV protection if you are skiing where there is strong sunlight and snow. It is also possible to use sunglasses.
  • Use an approved safety shield or welding helmet when welding. This way you avoid looking directly at the welding flame.
  • Wear special goggles if you are sunbathing.

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