Snow Blindness

It’s finally winter and you’re planning on going to the slopes. A few things to remember about snow before you head out there! 

Sunburn On the Eye

Though the sun rays are not as strong in the winter as in the summer, it is quite possible to get sunburned during the winter. Any prolonged exposure to the sun can result in burns on the body. Two additional factors can increase your risk of getting burned. 

  1. Altitude- Increased altitudes shorten the distance between you and the sun, making the exposure more intense. The World Health Organization has quoted that with every 1,000 meter increase in altitude, UV levels begin to elevate 10%-12%. 

  2. Snow- Snow acts as a highly effective reflector. You are then exposed to both the UV rays that hit you directly and indirectly from the rays that hit the snow first then reflect onto you.

What Happens If Your Eyes Get Burned? 

 PHOTOKERATITIS

The cornea, the front portion of the eye, burns from the sunrays, leading to symptoms of pain, sensitivity to the light, large reduction in vision, foreign body sensation, red eyelids, headaches, and even glare and halo around lights. So what can be done to prevent it? 

WEAR PROTECTIVE GOGGLES

Wearing snow goggles or sunglasses that wrap around the head. Ensure the lens provides 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. 

If you are concerned about your eyes or have symptoms similar to what is listed above, please contact the office for a visit.

Author
Cindy Kweon, OD Cindy Kweon, OD Cindy Kweon, OD, (pronounced Kwon) is a board-certified comprehensive optometrist at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, PC. She is dedicated to providing high-quality care to patients in Hatboro, North Wales, and Levittown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kweon received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and went on to earn her doctoral degree in optometry from Salus University in Elkins Park. She underwent extensive clinical training in the pediatrics and comprehensive clinic at The Eye Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Kay, Tabas, Niknam & DiDomenico Ophthalmology Associates in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania; Allentown VA Clinic; and Century Eye Care in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. In addition to her training, Dr. Kweon is an active member of the American Optometric Association and Pennsylvania Optometric Association. To better serve a diverse population, Dr. Kweon is fluent in both English and Korean.

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