Snow Blindness, also known as photokeratitis, is a temporary eye discomfort resulting from the eyes being exposed to too much UV (ultraviolet) light, resembling a sunburn on the eyes. Yes, even the eyes can be sunburned. They usually recover on their own in a few days, but this condition can be quite the trouble, as it is a painful condition that causes lots of discomfort and further photosensitivity.
The surface of the eyes is much more sensitive to UV rays, compared to the skin.
Thankfully, it can be quite easy to prevent with just a few simple preventative measures.
What is Snow Blindness?
Let’s start with the most important things first – what exactly is Snow Blindness? Knowing how it works will allow us to prevent it.
Snow Blindness is a condition in which when the cornea and conjunctiva become inflammated and eventually gets damaged due to being exposed to too much UV light. It is a similar condition to when the skin suffers and becomes inflamed after experiencing a sunburn. Your eyes often tend to squint when they are exposed to bright light and this is exactly, because it is a protective reflex against the strong UV rays.
What are the Symptoms?
Usually the symptoms of Snow Blindness become more painful and worsen after the first hours or even a day after the strong exposure. You may find yourself experiencing:
- Eye pain
- Redness in your eyes
- Swelling -Watering eyes
- Blurry Vision
- Light Sensitivity
-Seeing Halos around lights
How to Prevent it?
Luckily, Snow Blindness is quite easy to prevent. All you need is just a bit of extra protection which can be provided by sunglasses. It doesn’t matter how dark they are as long as you make sure they block 99% of the suns’ UV rays. Wear them often, even on darker days as the UV rays are strong enough to go even through clouds. Yes, wearing some even in the winter is necessary as the snow actually reflects the sun beams and they can still hurt your eyes quite a lot. Make sure to protect yourself and you shouldn’t have any serious problems and discomfort.
How to Treat Snow Blindness?
One of the best things you can do if you experience Snow Blindness, and in general, is to let your eyes rest. If you are wearing contacts it is best to remove them for a bit and make sure to use some eye drops in order to properly moisturize your eyes. Artificial tears can help reduce the dryness and discomfort that come from the condition. Do not rub your eyes as it will only make things worse and if you experience severe symptoms and for a lot of time make sure to contact a professional in order to get your eyes properly checked.
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