Winter sports enthusiasts, listen up. Whether you’re hitting the
slopes or just sledding with the kids, it’s important to protect
your eyes and thereby
your vision with the proper eyewear this winter. And even if you’re not what
you’d call a “winter sports enthusiast,” winter eye
protection is essential for you, too!
Reflections from the sun’s rays on snow or ice along with frigid
temperatures can have serious effects on your eyes and could threaten
your vision. Ultraviolet light from the sun is strongest in the winter
between 10AM and 3PM, and even more powerful at higher altitudes (such
as a ski slope) and the further south you are.
The sun, snow and ice
It may be cloudy and snowing outside, but the sun can still do serious
damage to your eyes. When there’s snow on the ground, your eyes
are at even greater risk of sun damage. Did you know winter precipitation
such as snow and ice reflects as much as 80 percent of the sun’s
harmful ultraviolet rays?
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause a painful eye condition called
photokeratitis, also known as “snow blindness” (though you
can still suffer the condition even if there isn’t snow on the ground).
If you plan to hit the slopes this winter or spend time outside, be sure
you have a pair of polarized polycarbonate sunglasses that block 100 percent
of UV rays. There are also versions specifically designed for winter sports.
Ski goggles are your best option to protect your eyes from the glare,
cold temperatures and wind. You can even get prescription ski goggles,
Going outside in freezing winter temperatures with your eyes unprotected
can cause eye pain or blurred vision. If you are exposed to extreme cold,
your corneas could actually freeze (rare, but possible!). While you can’t
wrap your eyes up in a cozy scarf, wearing wraparound sunglasses or goggles
will add an extra layer of protection from cold temperatures and harsh
Don’t risk your vision this winter. Be sure you and your children
have proper eye protection to prevent vision loss due to cold temperatures
or UV exposure. The
Key-Whitman Optical Center offers a variety of eyewear choices, including designer sunglasses. If
you need sunglasses this winter, shop for the perfect shades in our Optical Center!