Does Looking Directly at the Sun Damage the Eyes? What is Solar Retinopathy?

It’s summer and the sun is shining brightly. The fact that the sun is showing its face and the temperatures are getting hotter and hotter means that we have entered a period when we need to take certain precautions to protect our health. We need to be more careful especially for our eye health. In this content, we will answer a curious question about this very subject. Let’s see if looking directly at the sun does any harm to our eyes.

Does Looking Directly at the Sun Damage the Eyes?

Let us state from the beginning that looking directly at the sun has a harmful effect on the eyes. The reason for this is the UV rays of the sun. This condition is called Solar or Solar Retinopathy. Solar retinopathy is a type of damage to the retina of the eye and is usually caused by looking directly at the sun.

The retina is the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye that allows us to see. Solar retinopathy occurs when intense ultraviolet (UV) and visible light from the sun causes burns to the retina. When you look directly at the sun with the naked eye, UV rays from the sun can damage the retina and your visual center.

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What can be done to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays?

  • Wear hats with a wide brim. This will also prevent the rays from shining directly into your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection and reliable lenses when going out.
  • Avoid looking directly at the sun, especially during peak sun hours.
  • Avoid looking at white and shiny surfaces that reflect the sun’s rays for long periods of time in summer.
  • When you are in the sun for a long time, move to shaded areas and rest your eyes at certain intervals.

Paying attention to all these criteria will minimize the possibility of permanent damage to your eye.

Assoc. Prof. Aylin Kılıç

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