Protecting your eyes from the snow blindness

Protecting your eyes from the snow blindness

I just came back from a ski trip and I realized many people don’t know that the combination of  sun & snow is much worse than sun & sand.  The damage to your vision and eye health is greater because the intensity of glare and UV off of the snow is much worse.  Did you know that snow reflects 80{4422c3e9d6d956ffe17c4a9703f8867adf328a271a08c00de098d82d34d0cfb5} of the sun’s rays but water only reflects about 10{4422c3e9d6d956ffe17c4a9703f8867adf328a271a08c00de098d82d34d0cfb5}?  For this reason, snow blindness is a common problem that can easily be avoided.  Snow blindness is a condition where intense UV rays reflected off surrounding snow damage your exposed cornea.  The symptoms include redness, tearing, soreness, swollen lids, blurred vision, and discomfort.  Here are some tips on protecting your eyes while you’re enjoying yourself on the slopes…

1.  Wear ski goggles to avoid snow blindness, even on a cloudy day.  They protect you from incoming UV rays from all directions (unlike regular sunglasses and glasses).

2.   Make sure your ski goggles are well vented to let moisture escape, this avoids problems with fogging and moisture freezing on your glasses.

3.  Keep  your eyes well lubricated with artificial tears, especially if your eyes have mild UV damage/snow blindness.  This promotes your cornea to heal more quickly.

4.  Wear sunscreen on your face and around your eyes

5.  Wear the appropriate tint for your ski goggles to enhance your vision in different conditions

If for some reason you do experience snow blindness, please see your eyecare professional as soon as possible.

drchang@avenueeyecare.com
Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist

Contact Avenue Eyecare to book your appointment today.