Most of the country will experience snow between December and February in the winter. Getting snow can be very exciting for those places where it rarely comes, and it can be just another day in the life for those up north who experience it often. But did you know that snow on the ground reflects almost 80% of the sun’s UV rays and can be harmful to your vision? Here’s what you need to know about protecting your eyes this winter.
The Effects of Winter Snow Glare
We often associate glare with the beach and summer with the rays bouncing off the water. But in the summer we aren’t always around water, so it is easier to avoid damage to our vision. The snow covers every surface it can in the winter, leaving us surrounded by its bright white color and a much stronger glare.
If outside for hours in the snow without proper eyewear, sun glare, and more specifically, the strong UV exposure can cause a temporary but painful condition called photokeratitis or snow blindness. Photokeratitis is sometimes compared to sunburn but for your eyes! It can take a week to heal. Individuals with light-colored eyes may be more likely to suffer, so it is essential to have proper protection.
Polarized Lenses To The Rescue
SafeVision recommends wearing lenses that block 100% of the sun’s UV rays while out in the snow to prevent photokeratitis. We also recommend eyewear with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses have significant advantages such as increased contrast to help you see better in monochromatic winter landscapes. Of course, they reduce glare caused by reflective surfaces such as water, ice, and snow. Furthermore, as they’re most well known for, they reduce the amount of light that reaches your eyes which is useful in strong sunlight and can help reduce eyestrain from prolonged squinting.
These advantages make polarized lenses great for sunglasses all year round and the best option for those who spend much time outside. They are especially helpful for those who drive a lot and can help reduce hazardous glare while on the road.
Wrap Around Frames & Impact Resistant Lenses
If your job or hobbies have you spending extended periods outdoors during the snow, consider investing in wrap-style safety frames. Wrap-style frames can help protect your eyes from both indirect and direct sunlight. They also keep you looking good on and off the job!
If you live in extreme locations where the wind can kick up the snow or ice, it’s wise to consider a pair of prescription safety eyewear that is impact-rated as well. These will protect you from anything flying into your face and possibly causing damage to your lenses or vision. At SafeVision, all our eyewear meets ANSI standards for clarity, high mass & high-velocity impact protection.
Add an Anti-Fog Coating
The winter comes with many ups and downs in temperature, especially when it snows. Your body gives off heat and moisture, which can immediately fog up your glasses. We suggest adding a premium anti-fog coating to your prescription lenses via our state-of-the-art optical laboratory or ordering a bottle of our anti-fog solution from our online shop. Both will help keep your lenses from fogging for clearer vision when going between the cold outdoors and the warmth inside!