Snow Blindness

Does the reflection from the sun off of the snow irritate your eyes? Don’t let the cold, snow or cloudy weather fool you, snow reflects UV radiation from the sun and this puts your face and eyes at an extreme risk. You need to take precautions and  protect your eyes from snow blindness.

Snow blindness (photokeratitis) is sun damage to the cornea of the eye. It is a real risk at the snow. The condition is usually temporary and may last only a few days, but it can be very painful. UV exposure may contribute to other eye conditions including cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye), pterygium (growth of a membrane across the eye) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Suggestions to protect your eyes include:

  • Always wear sunglasses or googles when in the snow.
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses or goggles is your best choice. Aim for a snug fit, so that UV can’t get through the top or sides of your eyewear.
  • Choose eyewear that block at least 95 per cent of UV radiation.
  • Sunglasses and goggles can be fitted with prescription lenses. See your optometrist for more information.