Going On A Ski Trip? Protect Yourself Against Snow Blindness
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Going on A Ski Trip? Protect Yourself Against Snow Blindness

Ski trips are almost always synonymous to adrenaline rush and endless fun in the snow and ice. It conjures up images of fun and thrill from the time a vacationer takes the chairlift to the time one glides down icy slopes and trails. Unfortunately, these trips may also result health problems like snow blindness that can hinder you from enjoying the most of your escapade.

Snow blindness occurs when the eyes is exposed to UV reflection from ice and snow over a long period of time. The disease is medically called photokeratitis and can be described as the burning of the cornea and conjunctiva. Thrill-seekers like hikers and skiers not wearing proper eye protection are prone to such disorder and are more likely to experience painful burning, blurred vision, as well as eye irritation.

Photokeratitis also results to sensitivity to bright lights, red and swollen eyes, eye twitching, watering of the eyes, and temporary loss of vision.

In case you experience any of these symptoms while you are having a ski vacation, refrain yourself from rubbing and touching your eyes. Stir clear of contact lenses to avoid further damage and to allow for faster recovery. In addition, stay away from bright lights by staying indoors and covering your eyes with a soft cloth or gauze bandage. Applying prescribed eye creams and ointments to hasten eye recovery is also advised.

Studies show that snow blindness or photokeratitis is more common at higher grounds where the ultraviolet rays are more intense. It is 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.

The good news is that there is something we vacationers can do to prevent snow blindness while on ski vacations. For instance, vacationers can wear 100% UV blocking polarized goggles, wrap-around sunglasses or glacier goggles especially designed to absorb all UV rays from the sun. It is also advised that snow goggles are used 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 better to be protected at all times.

The use a hat or a helmet and a visor to prevent sun’s rays from entering the eyes from above are also strongly encouraged. Or if it’s not too much, vacationers can dab their eyelids with soot or charcoal as these can help absorb some of the harmful UV rays from the sun.

Skiers and snowboarders wearing contact lenses while on ski vacation destinations has to make sure they are wearing brands made with excellent UV blocking material. In addition, they have to take note that contact lenses can only protect the cornea and pupils, so they may still be at risk on snow blindness.


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