The condition is called Photokeratitis. This occurs when ultraviolet(UV) rays damage the thin surface of the cornea. It is a painful condition that can be prevented by wearing sunglasses year round when out doors.
Sunlight is a main source of natural UV rays. Photokeratitis can be caused by the sun reflection from sand, water, ice and snow. It can also happen when you stare at the sun, such as watching the solar eclipse directly without wearing any protection. There are also man-made sources of UV light, including tanning lamps, tanning beds, and arc welders.
Symptoms of Photokeratitis are pain, redness, blurriness, tearing, gritty feeling, swelling, sensitivity to light, headaches, seeing halos, eyelid twitching, and in rare instances loss of vision and color changes. The longer a person is exposed to UV lights, the more severe the symptoms can be.
In may take days for Photokeratitis to go away. Treatments include staying in a dark room, using a cold washcloth over your closed eyes, using artificial tears and seeing your eye doctor if needed for pain killers or antibiotics.
The Best way to prevent Photokeratitis is to wear Sunglasses that block 99% or more of UV rays. If you are a snow boarder or skier, get a good quality pair of snow goggle that is designed to block UV rays. If you are a welder make sure to wear a welding mask at all times when welding.