When the days are cloudy and cold, sunglasses are probably the last thing on your mind. But winter eye protection can prevent painful temporary conditions and permanent eye damage.
Why do I need winter eye protection?
Did you know your eyes can get sunburned in the winter? Snow and ice reflect 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding or working outdoors, UV rays strike from every angle, even on cloudy days.
UV exposure can cause a painful condition called photokeratitis, or “snow blindness.” Reporter Anderson Cooper recently experienced temporary vision loss from this condition. He was on the water, but strong glare from any source can cause symptoms.
In fact, eyes can be more at risk in the winter than in the summer. Here are a few things that you can do to keep your eyes protected and safe during the winter:
Keep wearing those UV-A or UV-B protecting sunglasses
Light reflecting off of the snow can be even brighter than light reflected off of water. Regardless of how sunny or cloudy it is, wear sunglasses every day to prevent UV-ray exposure.
Wear a hat
Maybe you don’t like having hat hair, but wearing a hat will keep your skin looking younger and your eyes protected by keeping UV rays off of your face. Wear a wide-brimmed hat when you are outdoors, especially for a long period of time. Remember that the sun does not have to be shining for UV rays to be harmful.
Use sunscreen on your face and neck
Select a good, moisturizing sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. Make sure to reapply according to package instructions.
Wear proper eye protection when you are outside – Whether you are shoveling snow, doing yard work or hanging exterior holiday decorations, wear polycarbonate safety goggles to keep any foreign objects from penetrating your eyes and causing permanent damage.
Keep eye drops handy
Your eyes may become dried out or irritated by cold, drying winds. Use moisturizing drops to keep them lubricated. Being indoors can also dry out your eyes as furnaces and heaters can remove moisture from the air.
Goggles Protect In Three Ways
Goggles not only protect our eyes from UV rays, but they also help keep our eyes from drying out from the winter wind. In addition, think about all those errant branches, twigs, tree limbs, and slush full of gravel that can severely injure our eyes upon contact. It just makes good sense to wear quality goggles. Don’t neglect them!
And By The Way... Protect Your Skin Too!
We’re as concerned about your whole body health as we are about your vision health. So remember to not only protect your eyes from the winter sun’s effects, but protect your skin as well.