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Protecting the eyes from the sun

Protect your eyes during winter sports

Ski is a sport that is riff with emotion but not without risks. But while we are often aware of the risk of breaking a leg or spraining a wrist, we often forget that our eyes are also at risk on the slopes. However, it is essential to protect them during your stay in the ski resort.

The risks of the mountain

The cold, the sun and its reflection are components of winter sports that can also be harmful to the eyes. Together they can cause a form of ocular sunburn better known as snow blindness. In fact, this is superficial burning of the cornea further to an overexposure to ultraviolet rays. It appears after several hours’ exposure to the winter sun and due to the cornea’s large number of nerve endings, it can be extremely painful depending on the burn’s importance. The burn can also be accompanied by acute sensitivity to light known as photophobia. That is why it is so important to protect your eyes when skiing.

Choosing your ski glasses

To ski serenely without being bothered by the sun, with no risk of burning the cornea, it is imperative to adopt an appropriate protection. Some will choose sunglasses. In this case, it is recommended that the glasses have good coverage, that the eyes are well protected and that they are compatible with the helmet. The comfort along the temple arms must be perfect so as not to be bothered at the top of the slopes. It is good to know that traditional sunglasses are not adapted to the protection of the eyes in the mountains. One must choose lenses that protect 100% against ultraviolet light: category 2 (bad weather), category 3 (sunny weather: these lenses filter between 83% and 92% of the luminosity) or category 4 (very sunny weather: these lenses are recommended for extreme conditions, on glaciers or high altitude). With appropriate sunglasses, your eyes will be protected and you will have optimal visual quality for skiing thanks to a wide field of vision and tinted glasses adapted to the snowy environment.

Ski goggles

It is also possible to prefer wearing ski goggles which offer effective and efficient eye protection. In fact, ski goggles filter 100% of the ultra-violet rays. Here again, there is a filter classification depending on the level of protection:

  • Filter classification S1: low glare
  • Filter classification S2: medium glare protection
  • Filter classification S3 : strong glare

It’s good to know that certain ski goggles allow you to adapt the screen protection depending on the weather conditions and are also eyewear compatible (they are known as OTG – over the glasses – styles). Opting for ski goggles offers notable advantages: an optimal field of vision thanks to polarizing screens that adapt to the weather and venting systems to limit fogging up. Further, they are simple to use and can adapt to all head shapes. Finally, goggles give greater coverage than sun glasses.

Read the other topics from the "How to prepare your ski holidays" section:


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