The Unexpected Thing That Will Harm Your Sight In The Winter

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Winter Eye Care Outdoors, girl drinking tea inside photo credit: shutterstock

Winter eye care for outdoor glare

When you spend several hours or more skiing, skating or shovelling snow, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun’s reflection on ice or snow can damage the eye’s surface, causing an inflammation of the cornea called keratitis, says Dr. Lorne Bellan, head of the department of ophthalmology at the University of Manitoba and president of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society.

Keratitis makes the eyes red, sore and sensitive to light, and may require treatment with antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection. Too much exposure to UV light also plays a key role in the formation of cataracts, a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Extreme cold is usually not an issue, as our eyes have built-in defences against cold, including tearing up and squinting.

How to protect your eyes

Shield your eyes

Wear sunglasses that protect against UV light. “New snow on a ski slope has an almost 100 per cent reflection of UV light, so you’re getting a double dose of sun – from above and below,” says Chou. Look for glasses with a minimum UV 400 protection (they block both UVA and UVB). Since cataracts are the result of cumulative damage, even children should don sunglasses on bright winter days, says Faber. When skiing, wear goggles that have polycarbonate lenses, which block UV radiation.

If you’re outdoors on a blustery day, sunglasses will protect your eyes from the drying effects of the wind.

Limit your time outdoors

If you’ve forgotten your goggles or sunglasses, don’t spend more than a few hours outdoors on sunny or bright overcast days.

Next, 7 Foods That May Improve Your Eyesight

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