Snow Blind: Why Sunglasses Are Important in the Winter

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Sunglasses aren’t only for sunny summer days. Have you ever experienced snow blindness in the winter months? We’re talking about being out on a bright day in the snow, leaving you with eyes that ache and seeing spots for a few seconds before you recover and can keep moving.

Sunglasses and SnowSnow blindness may not seem like a big deal, and for people who live in climates where it snows often, snow blindness may just seem like a part of your life. But actually, snow blindness can be extremely damaging to your eyes.

When you experience snow blindness, you are experiencing a brief burn to your eye’s cornea – somewhat like if you were to experience a sunburn directly on your eye. Symptoms include tearing, pain, temporary loss of vision and even the sensation that there’s a grain of sand stuck in your eye for a few days afterwards.

Snow blindness occurs when the sun’s rays are reflected off of the surface of the snow. According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, snow can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. In addition, when you’re in a higher altitude where it snows frequently, the snow on the ground can reflect exponentially more of the sun’s rays than snow closer to sea level. Basically, the higher in elevation and closer you are to the sun, the more the snow can reflect its rays.

Over time, frequent burns to your cornea due to snow blindness can put you at a higher risk of other serious eye diseases, like cataracts. Children’s eyes, which are very sensitive since they are still growing and developing throughout the course of childhood, are extremely susceptible to snow blindness and the lasting effects that frequent snow blindness can cause.

Even though the summer months are behind us, sunglasses are a must all year long. Pick up a pair of shades for you and your kids and make sure to protect those precious eyes. Don’t forget to get shades for your toddlers, too, getting them in the habit of wearing sunglasses early with comfy straps to keep the glasses in place. Shop our full selection online now, or call us today at 800-283-1106 to learn more.


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