“It’s not well known. Yeah, you can sunburn your eyes. Cloud cover does not protect you from a sunburn. In fact, cloud cover, the UV index when it’s cloudy, can be almost as high as whenever there’s direct sunlight.” -Dr. David Jackson, the dean of the McGee Eye Institute
“If you’re skiing without goggles, you can get sunburned eyes or photokeratitis in as little as one hour. And it’s very painful.”
Your eyes can even get red and teary after only 15 minutes when the UV index is high. It can only take a few days to heal, but repeated exposure can lead to bigger issues.
“Chronically over long periods of time, that can lead to certain types of cancers, even on the surface of the eye or inside the eye.”
Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays are great, but you should make sure to get glasses that wrap around. Otherwise peripheral ultraviolet damage often occurs. There are only three weather situations that really help: dense/low stratus clouds, fog or rain.
I suggest oversized wrap-around shades with a quality strap for ample protection that you’ll never misplace like our boy Malibu: