With the arrival of winter and with it, the long-awaited arrival of snow, we all want to go skiing, take walks in the mountains, and activities related to outdoor sports. It is normal to think that the fundamental use of gafas de sol is during the summer season, because there is more sun and therefore more solar radiation, but even though we can't see it, exposure to UV radiation is daily, even with cloudy skies or when temperatures drop. However, in winter there are many factors at play that can severely damage our eye health, such as unprotected exposure to UV radiation, cold winds and glistening reflections from snow. The important thing about this is to know that under no circumstances can we endanger our vision by practicing these sports activities. The exposure of the snow with our eyes can become enemies for our eyes if we do not take the necessary protection measures.
It is Dr. Juan Carlos Martínez Moral, also president of the General Council of Colleges of Opticians-Optometrists (CGCOO), who advises the use of approved sunglasses to prevent solar keratitis. He points out that wearing sunglasses of proven optical quality, purchased in optical health establishments or authentic sunglasses stores, help to preserve good eye and visual health, thereby avoiding inflammation of the cornea. Snow reflects approximately 80% of sunlight, a figure well above sand, which reflects between 10 and 25%, so protection must be maximum and always guaranteed with quality products.
What is keratitis?
Keratitis is defined as an inflammation of the cornea that can be caused by multiple physical and organic agents, such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation while skiing or mountaineering. In solar keratitis, the symptoms usually affect both eyes and do not appear after exposure to light, but after a few hours. Its characteristic symptoms are pain, red eye, tearing and difficulty opening the eyes due to intolerance to light and it appears mainly due to sun exposure while skiing.
What damage does keratitis cause and how do I protect it with tinted sunglasses?
It should be mentioned that the damage caused by excessive sun exposure is cumulative. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable, since their visual system is in the process of maturing. And it is that the snow reflects about 80% of sunlight, while the sand reflects between 10% and 25% and water 20%. Altitude is added to this reflective effect, since for every 1.000 meters the proportion of ultraviolet rays in sunlight increases by 10%. Therefore, when we go skiing, our eyes are highly exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays and their possible side effects such as solar keratitis. For this reason, it is very important to know what to do if our exposure to snow-reflecting light has damaged our vision. In the ophthalmological examination, diffuse punctate lesions are observed in the outermost layer of the cornea, the epithelium.
With proper treatment, the lesions close in one or two days. People who wear contact lenses should remove them as soon as possible and consult with an ophthalmologist before resuming their use. That's why we should have some sunglasses adequate so that this kind of thing doesn't happen!
How to prevent suffering from keratitis or any type of damage to our eyes?
For this, it is very important to use good protection with suitable sunglasses. This is essential to preserve our visual health in the snow. It is essential to know that if the sunglasses that you are using are not glass or organic will not be worth anything. Low-quality polymer (plastic) sunglasses can even let UV rays through despite looking very dark, and over time they can warp and cause optical aberrations, eye discomfort, or headaches. Despite the fact that non-approved or low-quality glasses are cheaper, we must bear in mind that they are sold in non-specialized places and do not adequately protect from solar radiation. When skiing, it is always recommended to use glasses that minimize glare, since they eliminate reflections from certain angles of surfaces such as water, snow or sand.
Also, we must take into account that in high altitude places, the air is much thinner, which generates more Ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere. Specifically, UV radiation increases by 3% for every 400 meters of height. And if we add a reflective medium such as snow, the risk of prolonged exposure to this radiation doubles while we practice any snow sport. This is why it is essential that you use suitablesunglasses or goggles that protect your eyes from almost 80% of the UV radiation that is reflected in the snow.
How do we know that our sunglasses protect us from the snow?
1. The first thing is to check the label and choose the ones that ensure 100% UV protection. If they are not marked with this specification, it is best to discard them and keep looking, we must have glasses that will truly fulfill the function we are looking for!
2.Another factor to take into account is the category of the lens. The lenses are classified from 0 to 4, with 4 being the default category for areas where the incidence of the sun is extreme and constant and where there is a very high light reflection on surfaces (snow and water). When the day is not going to be completely sunny every hour, the category of the lens may be
3. Finally, you can also choose those models with a polarizing filter, since this filter absorbs the reflection that occurs on metal surfaces, glass, water or snow. The sunglasses polarized will always offer us a plus in terms of safeguarding our eyes!The reason for this is that they minimize glare and eliminate reflections from certain surface angles such as snow.
We must bear in mind that both our skin and our eyes are always organs exposed to the direct action of the weather we find ourselves in, especially if we are in the mountains and we are surrounded by snow. In the same way, we must protect them from radiation, always using quality products that help us fulfill that protective function that we are looking for.
We invite you to take a look at our sunglasses and discover for yourself the importance of investing in quality sunglasses right now. They are very important in all outdoor activities!
- Polarized Lenses: they divert the reflections and the rebound of the sun's rays on surfaces such as the road or the sea, thus creating a greater visual smoothness, which translates into greater comfort for your eyes.
- UV400 filter that protects you from the sun's UV rays, including UVA and UVB rays.
- Category 3 light transmission perfect for intensely sunny days. To go to the beach, play sports or simply walk through the countryside or the city.
- TAC lenses made with High Definition multi-layer to achieve greater sharpness in any light condition. You will see all colors with better contrast and greater fidelity.
- Ultra light frame made of PC.
- Extra comfortable unisex ergonomic design for a better adaptation in both men and women.
- 5-bar titanium hinges for durability at peak performance. Some sunglasses can be opened and closed thousands of times, so it is important to have top quality hinges capable of withstanding the test of time.