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What is Snow Blindness and How Can You Protect Yourself?

Have you ever experienced a burning, gritty feeling in your eyes after participating in winter activities like skiing or snowboarding? If so, you may have suffered from a condition known as snow blindness. Snow blindness is a type of eye injury caused by exposure to high levels of UV rays due to light reflections, such as those found on the slopes or while boating or hiking at high elevation. Here's what you need to know about this condition and how you can protect yourself from it.

The Symptoms of Snow Blindness
Snow blindness is caused by short-term exposure to strong UV light that causes sunburns on the eyes. Symptoms may include pain, redness and swelling of the eyes, loss of vision temporarily, a feeling of sand in the eyes, and tears streaming from them. These symptoms will usually last for one to two days before gradually fading away until they are no longer noticeable. If left untreated, however, snow blindness can cause permanent damage to your corneas—so it’s important to take action right away if you suspect that you’ve been exposed too long to UV rays.

How To Protect Yourself From Snow Blindness
The best way to protect yourself from experiencing snow blindness is prevention! Wear sunglasses and/or ski goggles with 100% UV protection when participating in outdoor activities during winter months (this includes sunny days!). A wide-brimmed hat can also provide extra protection for your face and eyes. And make sure you limit your time outside if possible—the more exposure there is to sunlight reflected off surfaces like snow or water, the higher chance there is for developing this condition.

Snow blindness can be uncomfortable and even painful—but it’s also easily preventable. With just a few simple steps like wearing 100% UV protection sunglasses or ski goggles and limiting time spent outdoors in direct sunlight during winter months, you can avoid this condition altogether! For those already suffering from photokeratitis due to overexposure of UV rays, rest assured that symptoms should resolve within 1-2 days with proper care; however, if symptoms persist or worsen seek medical advice immediately. It’s always better safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your vision!