Just because it is winter don't forget to protect your eyes. You don’t have to be headed to the beach for UV exposure to have an impact. In fact, during the winter months the highly reflective nature of snow on the ground means UV coming from every direction. According to the World Health Organization, the UV radiation bouncing off of snow is about 80%. This can lead to snow blindness or temporary vision loss. UV protection is important year round to avoid early onset macular degeneration, cataracts and cancer.
There are a number of factors during the winter months that warrant taking special care to protect your eyes. When trees lose their leaves, there is less shade to protect the eyes from direct sunlight. The sun is lower in the sky in winter which can mean high glare for drivers when the sun shines directly into their eyes.
During the winter months you may choose to enjoy activities such as skiing or snowboarding. The risk can be higher on a hillside as UV rays are present at a greater concentration as elevation increases. Don’t forget your eyewear to protect against wind and snow glare and help prevent eye damage.
We sometimes forget that our eyes are a sensitive organ that can get sunburned like our exposed skin. Even if it is overcast you should still protect your eyes when you are outside. If you feel symptoms such as watery eyes, pain, swelling, blurriness, or eyelid twitching visit your holistic optometrist as soon as possible.
When shopping for sunglasses, check the label and choose a pair with 100% UVA/UVB protection. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, contact your holistic optometrist who can provide you with the information you need to customize a pair of goggles or sunglasses.
Eye damage can occur over time so wearing eye protection is as important for children as it is for adults. In addition to reducing risk, sunglasses increase clarity and visual comfort and they look good!
World Health Organization