Winter is here! It is a great time to head to the mountains and enjoy all of the winter activities our beautiful state has to offer. While enjoying the outdoors, it is important to be aware of health hazards associated with the snow. Aside of the typical winter slips, trips and falls, few people know that snow can cause snow blindness.

Snow blindness, a form of photokeratitis, is a painful eye condition caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays reflected from ice and snow, particularly at high elevation. Severe cold and dryness can also cause the condition.

It is usually not noticed until sometime after the damage is done, just like a sunburn. Snow blindness symptoms can be very alarming and unpleasant, including blurry vision, swelling, and watery eyes.

But you don’t have to experience the pain and damage that snow blindness causes. In fact, for centuries humans have found clever ways to protect themselves, and with today’s technology it’s easier than ever to stay safe. Sunglasses or goggles that block 99 percent and higher of UV rays and protect from dry, freezing wind can help prevent snow blindness.

Symptoms of snow blindness typically subside within 48 hours.

If you experience snow blindness and your symptoms persist longer than 48hrs, remember you can stop by any of our Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine locations. To check wait times and get in line, click here.