Winter is right around the corner, bringing all of the wonderful fun that goes along with it! Do you know how to keep your eyes safe and protect your vision while enjoying your favorite seasonal sports? Follow these eye care tips to keep your sight crisp and clear while having your wintertime fun.
Though it might sound counter-intuitive, the winter sun can cause just as much damage to your eyes as you would experience during the long days of summer. The potential for damage is even greater in snowy conditions since the glare of the sun hitting the snow can cause “snow blindness” — both painful and damaging to your sight. Snow also reflects ultraviolet rays, effectively doubling your UV exposure and leading to more extensive eye and skin damage. Those at higher elevations are at even greater risk since there is less UV filtration in the atmosphere. For these reasons, it is critical to outfit the entire family in sunglasses that are designated as UV blocking, and also consider wearing a hat with a brim to further shade the eyes. Since children are more vulnerable to this type of eye damage, be sure to protect them as well.
Another eye care hazard of winter is debris entering the eye during sporting activities. This can occur easily during hobbies such as skiing or snowboarding, which can fling ice, slush, dirt, tree branches, bark, stones, and more into your unsuspecting eyes, especially if you are following other skiers. Sunglasses will provide at least some protection in this instance, but a better idea for this type of pursuit would be a great pair of goggles. A set that also affords UV protection or at minimum allow the wearer to have on sunglasses underneath them is the perfect protective equipment in this case.
Last but not least, low temps of winter can sometimes drive the family indoors. Children may be tempted to play more roughly and use toys that are unsafe such as pellet guns, arrows, missiles or projectiles. Caution children on throwing or shooting items at one another or provide them with less threatening toys in the interests of their eye care.
Damage to vision can often be permanent and devastating. Don’t put a damper on your winter fun with a preventable eye injury. Protecting your vision can be very simple and can keep you in good spirits all winter long!
Photo credit: Denis Messié / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND