How can I protect my eyes when I am participating in snow sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and snow machining?
When participating in snow sports, there are three main concerns that must be addressed to safeguard your eyes. Wearing goggles can help protect you from all three of these dangers.
- Ultraviolet radiation exposure
- Wind exposure
- Foreign objects
Ultraviolet radiation exposure
Because snow reflects up to 80% of the sun's rays, your eyes may be exposed to greater than normal levels of ultraviolet radiation when you are participating in snow sports. UV rays can damage the surface of the eyes causing severe pain, discomfort, and even scarring. UV rays can also damage the internal structures of the eyes including the lens and retina.
The best way to protect your eyes from UV rays while participating in snow sports is to wear goggles with UVA and UVB protection.
Colder temperatures usually mean drier air. The moisture content of air usually decreases as the temperature decreases. Further complicating this problem is the effect of wind. Wind can significantly increase the rate of evaporation of moisture from the surface of your eyes. Goggles can be very helpful in protecting your eyes from the drying effect of cold, dry, winter air. Goggles reduce the evaporation of moisture from your eyes and help keep your eyes from becoming so dry. By retaining the moisture on the surface of your eyes, you are less likely to experience blurry vision that comes from ocular dryness.
Whether you are sitting on a snow machine going 60 mph, or speeding downhill on your snowboard, most snow sports involve moving at an increased velocity. Should your eye come into contact with a tree branch, ski pole, or any other object while traveling at an increased velocity, you may be at risk of scratching or even rupturing your eye. Protective eyewear such as goggles can help protect your eyes from potential damage from foreign objects. When choosing protective eyewear, look for materials that are shatter resistant such as Trivex and Polycarbonate.