Optometrists Recommend Protective Eyewear Even On Cloudy Winter Days

By Al Macias
Published: Monday, December 15, 2014 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, December 15, 2014 - 11:05am

Sunglasses aren’t normally seen as a winter accessory but you might want to pack some for your next trip to the snow.

People often worry about their eyes in the summer, but in reality they need to be protected year round. Before you hit the slopes this winter, don’t forget your sunglasses because optometrist Steven Cohen says that skiers' eyes are especially at risk.  

“People who snow ski are at a great risk because of the higher altitude where the atmosphere is thinner so more UV winds up penetrating and plus we also deal with reflective UV," Cohen said. "In the short term, say someone goes snow skiing, they can wind up with what’s called snow blindness or a condition called photokeratitis which like a sunburn to the front of the eyes.”

The American Optometric Association recommends wearing protective eye wear whenever exposed to UV light, which includes cloudy, cold winter days. Cohen also recommends hats with a brim, and contacts that block UV.