Look after your eyes on the slopes this season - Finchley's Multi-Award Winning Opticians Practice

Look after your eyes on the slopes this season

You have to be fully prepared to hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding; the correct equipment is essential for your safety and protection. Keen snowboarder and Behavioral Optometrist Bhavin Shah discuss how to protect your eyes and make the most of your vision when you’re on the slopes.

Getting ready for ski-season? Anticipating the adrenaline filled rush of hurtling down the slopes means it’s often easy to forget about looking after your eyes and vision as you pack the skiwear and holiday reading material (to exercise those reading muscles of course).

The two most important factors to think about are clear vision  to see the hazards on the snow’s surface and on the piste and ensuring that the eyes are protected from the hazardous effects of UV light from the sun.

The surface of the slopes are frequently undulating, there may also be many hazards such as trees, signs and other fragments on the snow.  Having sharp vision is essential to be able negotiate your way over the slope at high speed whilst avoiding hazards. Ensure that you have had a full sight test to verify that your vision is a clear as possible. If you are a spectacle wearer, there are now a number of vision correction options available specifically designed for the winter sports season.

Come and visit Central Vision Opticians for advice on prescription skiing goggles and special wrap-around glasses article source. Central Vision Opticians are also pleased to announce the launch of brand new prescription spectacle lenses designed to virtually eliminate the distortion in the periphery experienced with standard prescription lenses when used in a wrap-around frame.

Another great option is to wear contact lenses; in addition to giving you the option to wear over the counter eye protection, many contact lenses give you additional UV protection.

Another factor to consider which can hinder your vision on the slopes is the glare from the sun. The correct tinted lenses can shield your eyes from reduced vision from glare; the right colour can also enhance your ability to see the irregular surface of the snow.

The most risk to the eyes when skiing and snowboarding is the risk of ‘snow blindness’ from the UV rays of the sun. It is akin to sunburn of the front surface of the eye (cornea). It causes very painful, red and watery eyes several hours after the over-exposure to UV. The eyes usually heal after a few days but can sometimes cause chronic irritation. There are other long term risks linked to UV damage such as cataract and macula degeneration. 100% UV protection is crucial. Don’t forget that children’s eyes are especially sensitive to UV.

Remember to safe on the slopes this year, look after your eyes and have a great time.

Our Top Tips to ensure the best vision and protection for your eyes:

  1. See your Optometrist to ensure that you have the optimum vision and, if necessary, the right prescription and optical correction for your eyes.
  2. Insist that any protection you buy MUST have 100% UV protection. Some very cheap sunglasses may be labelled as UV blocking but do not provide adequate protection against the dangers mentioned above.
  3. Choose the right colour of tint for your conditions on the slopes. The darkness you require should reflect the conditions on the slope, there are some colours such as amber, melanin or grey that can work well in general conditions.
  4. Ensure that the lenses are impact resistant; they are usually made of polycarbonate. Another great material for prescription lenses is Trivex.
  5. Check the fitting of the glasses/goggles to make sure they are comfortable, provide adequate protection and good all-round visibility.

About the Author Bhavin Shah

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