Facts About Snow Blindness
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Facts About Snow Blindness

Health problems such as snow blindness are typical among individuals who frequently go on ski trips to their favorite snow-capped mountains. This disease puts health and safety at risk and can hinder you from enjoying your planned escapade.

But what really causes snow blindness? Various researches suggest that this eye problem results from too much exposure of the eyes to UV reflection from ice and snow. It is also called photokeratitis and is best described as the burning of the cornea and conjunctiva. This is more common among adventurers and hikers not wearing proper eye protection. Signs and symptoms of snow blindness include painful burning, blurred vision, as well as eye irritation. Individuals suffering from photokeratitis also experience sensitivity to bright lights, red and swollen eyes, eye twitching, watering of the eyes, and temporary loss of vision.

When you are having a ski vacation and you seem to experience any of the symptoms, never attempt to rub your eyes. Avoid touching your eyes and take off contact lenses to prevent further damage and to aid in faster recovery. In addition, stay away from bright lights. Stay indoors and cover your eyes with soft cloth or gauze bandage. You may also apply doctor prescribed eye creams and ointments for speedy recovery. Aside from that, you may also apply clinically-safe and effective artificial tears or anesthetic eye drops.

Studies show that snow blindness is more common at higher grounds where the ultraviolet rays are more intense. It is believed to be more prevalent in the Arctic and Antarctic regions and is more likely to occur among those involved in snow activities such as hiking and skiing that are typical in ski resorts.

Protect yourself from getting this disease and have a blast on your ski vacation by doing easy and simple preventive measures like wearing a 100% UV blocking polarized goggles, wrap-around sunglasses or glacier goggles that are designed to absorb all UV rays from the sun. Always wear snow goggles regardless of the weather condition – that is, even on cloudy days. Take note that harmful UV rays can actually penetrate through the clouds, so it’s always better to be protected at all times.

Hats, helmets and visors are also good shield materials from harmful sun’s rays. In addition, you may also dab your eyelids with soot or charcoal as these can help absorb some of the harmful UV rays from the sun.

Vacationers wearing contact lenses while on ski vacation destinations should see to it that there lenses are made with excellent UV blocking material. Furthermore, contact lenses can only protect the cornea and pupils, hence they may still be exposed to the sun and be at risk on snow blindness.


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