It’s almost that time of the year perfect for a skiing holiday. According to skiline.co.uk, a travel agency specialising in skiing holidays, skiing season typically lasts from December to April. Families should prepare their skis, boots and poles, and other protective gear long before the season comes up. Moreover, people should prepare their eyes, too, because the cold weather can be particularly trying on them. In some cases, it could even cause snow blindness.
Effect of Cold Weather on the Eyes
Cold weather dries out our eyes. Some people cope with the cold weather through excessive tearing that blurs the vision, but others are not so fortunate. The cold temperature also constricts the blood vessels in our eyes, causing them to redden and swell.
The effects of cold weather on the eyes worsen in higher altitudes because the thinner atmosphere exposes people to more ultraviolet (UV) rays. Additionally, the white blanket of snow reflects the UV rays back onto the skiers. The level of exposure burns the surface of the exposed cornea and results in snow blindness. It may be painful, but vision usually returns after 24 to 48 hours. Its other symptoms include a gritty sensation, sensitivity to light, glare and halos around lights and swollen eyes and eyelids.
Preventing Snow Blindness
The condition shouldn’t stop people from enjoying the holidays, though. Skiers can enjoy the snow without worrying about their vision if they exercise the right preventive measures. They could invest in sun-sensitive photochromic lenses. These sunglasses need to have a wrap-style frame so they can protect the eyes from both direct and indirect sunlight.
Treating the Condition
Most of the time, snow blindness is not a serious condition. It resolves itself within two days even without medical treatment. If a person exhibits its symptoms, they should set aside their skiing gear and stay indoors as they recover. They should also keep their eyes moistened with preservative-free formulations.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease the discomfort. If the symptoms remain or worsen after two days, the patient must see a doctor.
Although snow blindness does not lead to complete vision loss, skiers should still aim to keep their eyes healthy. People should protect their eyes if they wish a memorable, stress-free winter holiday.