If you’re hitting the slopes this week for spring break, it is important to remember to properly protect your eyes for winter weather.
Often, we assume that summertime is when we need to be most careful in protecting our eyes from the sun, but wintertime UV rays can be just as dangerous – especially when skiing and snowboarding. Being at a higher altitude brings you closer to the sun and increases the level of harmful UV rays directed at the face and eyes. Most skiers and snowboarders tend to outfit themselves properly when it comes to equipment and clothing but eye protection is sometimes overlooked. Wearing goggles/glasses is incredibly important since the average intensity of UV radiation goes up by 5% for every thousand feet increase in altitude.
Snow blindness can happen on both sunny and overcast days with up to 85% of the UV radiation coming from the sun back toward the face when it is reflected from the white surface of snow and ice. Common symptoms include redness and watering eyes but a temporary loss of vision can occur with more severe snow blindness. Optometrist Melanie Prosise, O.D. also notes, “Please remember sunglasses for your children as well. They need the protection just as much as adults.”
To protect your eyes from any danger, make sure to properly outfit yourself from head to toe – with eyewear included!
Photo credit: https://www.worldofsportsgear.com/category/skiing/