Also Known As: Photokeratitis, Ultraviolet keratitis, Snow blindness, Arc eye, Welder's flash, Bake eyes, Corneal flash burns, Flash burns, Niphablepsia, Keratoconjunctivitis photoelectrica
Photokeratitis or ultraviolet keratitis is a painful eye condition caused by exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to the ultraviolet (UV) rays from either natural or artificial sources. Photokeratitis is akin to asunburn of the cornea and conjunctiva, and is not usually noticed until several hours after exposure. Symptoms include increased tears and a feeling of pain, likened to having sand in the eyes.
The injury may be prevented by wearing eye protection that blocks most of the ultraviolet radiation, such aswelding goggles with the proper filters, a welder's helmet, sunglasses rated for sufficient UV protection, or appropriate snow goggles. The condition is usually managed by removal from the source of ultraviolet radiation, covering the corneas, and administration of pain relief. Photokeratitis is known by a number of different terms including: snow blindness, arc eye, welder's flash, bake eyes, corneal flash burns, flash burns, niphablepsia, or keratoconjunctivitis photoelectrica.