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Stay Safe in the Snow

By Admin on 2016-01-18

The ski season is finally here and no doubt some of you snow lovers are counting down the days until you can put on your skis or jump onto your board.  But before you slalom down the slopes, there’s a few precautions you need to take in order to protect yourself from a dangerous combination of sun and snow. 

Being out and about on the mountains, where the air is that much cooler, can lead to a false sense of security. This can leave you at risk of sunburn and ultimately skin cancer, as well as snow blindness and cataracts, if you fail to properly protect yourself.

The higher the altitude, the greater the ultraviolet (UV) radiation, because there is less atmosphere to block the harmful sun rays.

Although we are all used to wearing our sunglasses and slapping on the sunscreen in the summer, it’s easy to forget to protect ourselves against the harsh effects of a snow and sun combination.

Spending a long time in the snow can cause you to succumb to snow blindness, a condition caused by failing to use adequately protective eyewear in high ultraviolet (UV) light conditions, that being surrounded by snow creates. 

This can be avoided by wearing appropriate sunglasses and goggles that filter UVA and UVB light and have side coverage of the eyes.

Choosing the right sunglasses is crucial and these should have the CE marking to show they absorb UV. If not then they may not block all UVA, UVB and C which can all be harmful rays for the eyes. A wrap-around sunglass will also help reduce the risk of skin cancer around the eye itself.

Photokeratitis or snow blindness typically occurs at high altitudes on highly reflective snow fields. Symptoms include painful watering red eyes, swollen eyelids, sensitivity to light and reduced vision caused by damage to the cornea.

If you think you may be suffering from photokeratitis following your trip, we recommend that you visit us immediately. Dark sunglasses and avoidance of bright light will help to make the eyes more comfortable.

Stay safe and have a great trip! 

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