It's already fall, and the temperatures are lower now in most places than just a month ago. There is more precipitation and overcast days as we approach winter. During these cloudy, cool days and winter, it is easy to think you do not need UV protection. Most people relate vigilant sun protection with summertime, but it is just as important in the winter.
Winter comes with UV exposure and other dangers like snow blindness. According to experts, you should be just as vigilant in protecting your eyes during winter as in summertime. The sun exposure you get during winter causes some of the same issues as in summer and exposes you to other problems.
The main culprit of sun damage to the eyes is UV rays, which happen throughout the year. Other than this, the change in environmental factors also affects your eyes. Some of the common conditions that you are predisposed to during winter sun are:
Cancer of the eyelids and other skin tissue around the eyes
Winter comes with a lot of changes because of the new extreme temperatures. The mornings can be cloudy and overcast during winter, and the afternoons bright and sunny. You may leave the house prepared for a gray day, only to be assaulted by harsh sunlight later in the day. Throughout this type of day, UV rays are still penetrating the clouds. UV exposure is much more when the day is bright and sunny.
Snow is one of the main aspects of winter that cause eye damage from the sun. Snow reflects a large amount of all the sun rays that penetrate the clouds. According to experts, you may have more exposure to UV rays in a single hour in winter than an entire day in the summer. The phenomenon usually leads to a common condition in the winter called snow blindness.
Like in summer, the best way to protect your eyes in winter is always to have sunglasses every time you go out. It is best to have sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Avoid gas-stop sunglasses that usually do not have that 100 percent protection.
It does not mean you should break the bank with designer glasses, but you can get a decent pair from a reputable store. Wraparound sunglasses are ideal because they cover your entire field of vision.
As mentioned earlier, snow blindness is one of winter's most common eye damage conditions. It is also known as photokeratitis or corneal sunburn. It is inflammation of the cornea due to exposure to a lot of UV radiation.
Here are the common symptoms of corneal sunburn:
Feeling like you have sand or debris in the eye
Burning or stinging sensation
Increased sensitivity to light
Irritation and redness
Halos around bright lights
Inflamed eyelids and other tissues around the eyes
For more on winter vision safety call Grove Eye Care at our office in Richmond (804) 353-3937 or Midlothian (804) 888-8998, Virginia.