Dr. Jim Martin 12/16/2015

skiing.jpgWhen the weather is cold, most likely you're doing what you can to keep your body warm without giving your eyes a second thought. It's easy to grab a scarf and a hat and head off for a day on the slopes without thinking about your eyes. Exposure to cold can lead to both temporary and permanent eye damage, including general pain and blurred vision. It can also contribute to the onset of more serious eye conditions, including cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer.
UV Radiation

Snow and ice reflect as much as 80% of UV radiation, a much higher percentage than the 25% reflection of sea foam and 15% reflection of dry beach sand. Whether you're working outdoors or engaging in a winter sport, you're subject to UV rays from every angle, even on cloudy days. You're at the highest risk of incurring eye damage during the late winter and early spring when the days are longer than they are in December and January. Peak hours are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Whenever possible, avoid working and playing outside during these times.


The single most important way to protect eyes during the winter is to wear sunglasses. Look for polarized sunglasses made of polycarbonate or another durable material that offer 100% UV blockage. Wraparound sunglasses styles offer the highest level of protection. Keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car or sports bag so that you always have some on hand. If you wear prescription glasses and engage in winter sports or other outdoor activities on a regular basis, think about investing in prescription glasses or goggles.

Protection For Children

Kids are more susceptible to UV ray eye damage than adults. As UV exposure accumulates over time, extensive eye damage early in life may lead to problems down the road. When your kids are playing in the snow, skiing, or ice skating, outfit them with sunglasses that provide 100% UV blockage. Have your kids select sunglasses that are a good fit and that are in a style that they like to encourage them to wear them as often as needed.

If you experience eye pain, a strong burning sensation in your eyes, or other eye issues following outdoor exposure in cold weather, contact a reputable eye care provider. The longer you leave issues untreated, the greater the risk of permanent damage.

Broome Optical is a top eye care provider in the greater Amarillo area. We cater to adults and kids alike, offering a wide range of eye services and products, including glasses, sunglasses, and contacts.

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