They don’t call Canada “the Great White North” for nothing! With so many of our winter days being abundant with snow, many Canadians have learned to enjoy and embrace the “snow day”. With there being a plethora of activities and options that cater to the cold, fluffy white stuff, it’s easy for many of us leave the comfort of our cozy homes. So in temperature only suitable for polar bears and penguins we set out in search of our next great winter adventure! Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are just a few of the more popular activities that people enjoy doing during our cold winter months. And with Calgary, being just a stone’s throw away from the mountains, many Calgarians take part in many different snow sports. Just as eye protection is important when it is warm and sunny, wearing winter eye protection is important when enjoying a winter’s day.
Winter Eye Protection From Harmful Ultraviolet Rays
Some people think UV rays are a product from warm weather. This is not the case, UV rays are present in the atmosphere no matter what the temperature. Even when the sun isn’t shining brightly, we still encounter UV. So even though winter days may seem drearier then their summer counter parts, it is equally important to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays during the colder months. It is especially important to wear proper UV protection when taking part in winter sporting activities that involve snow. And even though sunglasses do great job at protecting our eyes, often a better choice of protection when engaging in winter sports is by wearing snow goggles.
Reflective Glare And Winter Eye Protection
Most surfaces absorb sunlight, this gives the surface their colour. However snow and ice reflect back most sunlight. Because snow is highly reflective and because it reflects light in all different directions, it is very important to protect the eyes from blinding glare. Blinding glare from snow is not only physically uncomfortable on the eyes, but it also can cause more harm and damage to the eyes as well.
Snow Blindness (Photokerititis)
Blinding glare from snow not only reflects visible light, but also harmful UV light rays as well. Over exposure to UV rays can cause damage to the eyes. Sometimes damage can happen more immediately, in the form of conditions such as photokerititis. Better known as snow blindness. This condition is basically a sunburn of the delicate tissues of the eye. It is very painful. Often when snow blind, the eyes feel scratchy. They may become extremely red and also may tear a lot. Often people who have suffered snow blindness will be extremely sensitivity to light. Just like most other burns, such as a sun burn, time is what is needed to heal a bad bought of photokerititis.
Choosing Winter Eye Protection
Just as sunglasses protect the eyes in the summer, they also protect them in the winter. When running errands, or just lounging around enjoying a nice winter day, regular sunglasses offer great winter eye protection. However, when engaging in snow specific sports, often wearing snow goggles is a better choice.
There are many advantages from wearing snow goggles. Snow goggles offer great protection from the reflective glare of the snow. Reflective light from snow scatters and reflects light in all different directions. Wearing goggles is a great choice, because of how they fit. Snow goggles fit firmly to the skin. Where Sunglasses typically have a gap between the frame and face. This gap allows both blinding visible and light and harmful uv light to creep in from the sides of the frame. The snug fit of a snow goggle helps eliminate unwanted stray light from reaching the eyes. Because of their tight fit, snow goggles also physical protect the eyes as well. Often snow goggle lenses are made of impact resistant materials which will protect the eyes if accidentally hitting debris such as ice, twigs or tree branches. Feel free to visit I need a real psychic.
So the next time you go to enjoy a snow day, do your eyes a solid and remember to wear winter eye protection!
Article Written By: Trina Vanaalst