What are the symptoms of snow blindness?

Should you worry about getting sunburned eyes in winter? Yes, because it can and does happen, resulting in a condition known as snow blindness or Photokeratitis. But what are the symptoms of snow blindness, and how can you reduce your risk of getting it. A good pair of shades is just as crucial in the winter as it is during the summer months, as it goes a long way in preserving the health of your eyes.

What is snow blindness?
Snow blindness is a reduction in vision that occurs due to the effects of very bright sunlight reflecting off the snow. When the UV rays come in contact with the snow, they become more potent, and have the potential to burn the outer layer of the cornea, if your eyes are not protected.

Symptoms of snow blindness
People with snow blindness often experience blurry vision, or temporary vision loss. They may also have difficulty differentiating colors, and sensitivity to bright light. Other symptoms include headache, pain, eyelid twitching, tearing, redness,
and halo vision.

How to reduce your risk of snow blindness
Snow blindness is common among people with excess exposure to the cold, dry air during the winter season. It’s therefore vital to always wear protective eye wear when going outdoors in the winter, even if it looks overcast. Make certain that the sunglasses have eye-shields on the sides, as the sun can enter through the sides as well (read more).

In many cases the condition is temporary, and resolves are spending time resting indoors. However, there are more severe cases that may require the help of an ophthalmologist.

Clients in the Washington DC area can visit New View Eye Center, to get treatment for the symptoms of snow blindness. Call 703-834-9777 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths.

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