Eye protection during snow activities

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The winter season is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all of the fun winter activities Utah has to offer. There is snow skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice fishing, and so much more. While these activities are super fun, you need to be aware of your eyes. Even though it is winter the sun can still severely damage your eyes. Cloudy winter days can suddenly become bright and sunny within hours. UV rays also penetrate clouds, so even though you do not need sunglasses to see you will still need the protection. 


Too much UV exposure can cause these eye problems: Photokeratitis, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Photokeratitis, also referred to as snow blindness, shows up after the damage is done and usually your eyes improve after 24 hours. 


Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding take you high up in the mountains. These activities put you at a higher elevation, where the sun is closer and more harsh. In addition to this snow reflects UV rays, making a snowboarder more likely to get sun damage than someone closer to sea level. When skiing or snowboarding wear polarized heavy duty lenses. These goggles will help you avoid eye sunburn and other UV caused damage. 


When sledding or ice fishing you will not need the goggles that snowboarders need, but some eye protection should be used. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. These glasses protect your eyes from UV rays. Try to start your children wearing sunglasses sooner, to prevent eye damage. Starting children young can help them build this habit for later in life. 


Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car, during the entire year. The sun’s glare tends to be higher in the winter, so drivers may have more of a glare in their eyes when driving. Consult your Prove Eye doctor to find a quality pair of sunglasses. 

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