Snow blindness, is the common term used to describe an eye condition known as Photokeratitis, a fancy of way of describing sunburnt eyes. While you don’t have to be on snow to technically go ‘snow blind’, you are more at risk at higher altitudes – skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing or just building a snowman. The reflection of the sun on beautiful white snow, sand or water or the bright light from arc welding can without eye protection can put you at risk.
Symptoms can include burning, exceptionally gritty eyes, eyelid twitching, redness, swelling, sensitivity to bright light, headaches, tearing, and temporary blindness (although this is very rare!). The longer you spend outdoors without eye protection, the more severe your symptoms may be.
The best way to avoid snow blindness is by ensuring you wear ski goggles or wrap-around sunnies that block UV rays, to avoid light hitting your eyes from above or the side. anytime you hit the slopes.
If you’ve spent all day on the mountain without protecting your eyes and do experience some of the symptoms mentioned above, try placing a cool face washer over your closed eyes. Typically symptoms tend to ease by themselves after 48 hours, however if you are worried consult your local GP.