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How To Protect Your Eyes on the Slopes This Season

It’s officially winter time. For some people this signals the coming of what the newspapers like to call ‘The Big Freeze’ – frosty mornings of sub-zero temperatures, ice on the roads and darkness before dinnertime. At the height of the cold season, most people like to stay indoors. But for others it’s playtime. The snow is on its way, and that can mean only one thing...the ski season is here! Before you get too excited and start packing your thermals, remember that while snow may be fun, it can sometimes be dangerous and you need to make sure you protect yourself. When you’re on the slopes you need to make sure you wrap up warm and know where you’re going...but you also need to take care of your eyes.

Know Where You’re Going

Perhaps the most obvious reason for taking care of your eyes is that you need to know where you’re going! If your eyes are open to the elements, strong or cold winds can force them to water which will blur your sight, and falling snow can obstruct your vision. The best way to make sure that your eyes won’t be affected by the weather, and that you’ll be able to clearly see where you’re going, as you shoot down that black slope, is to wear goggles.

Don’t Let the Glare Get to You

The second thing that you need to consider is the sun. Just as you would on your summer holiday, you’ll need the tinted UV lens to help you see clearly. You should invest in some polarised goggles and sunglasses in case the sun is soaking the mountain tops while you’re holidaying. If your eyes aren’t properly protected, you may be vulnerable to ‘snow blindness’. This is a condition in which the cornea (the outermost layer of the eye) is damaged by strong sunlight and UV rays reflected off the white snow and ice, and can lead to temporary loss of sight.  Polarised lenses reflect the UV rays away from the glasses. While snow blindness is a short term condition, it can have long term effects on vision as a whole – sun damage can contribute to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Do You Wear Glasses?

One of the most common queries when it comes to wearing goggles is whether prescription glasses will fit underneath them. There are ski goggles available that fit specs beneath them, but it’s not the most comfortable way to tackle the issue. Speak to your Optician about contact lenses, these sit on your eye and will allow full peripheral vision (unlike glasses), or alternatively you could look into getting prescription lenses in your ski goggles. Steph loves winter time, and makes the most of the season by hitting the slopes with her snowboard. She writes at Lenstore, an online contact lens retailer of popular brands such as Acuvue. You can trust her to understand the importance of clear vision when you’re out and about the slopes.