What is Snow Blindness?

Just when we think that the Nebraska winter is winding down, we are sacked with another round of heavy snowfall. If you and your family members are spending time in the bright, glaring snow, your eyes could be susceptible to a condition called snow blindness. This temporary form of blindness is caused by the intense glare reflected from white snow. Snow blindness can occur on sunny days and in overcast conditions where the amount of light our eyes are exposed to is magnified by the white snow. The symptoms of snow blindness can include:

  • Redness or puffiness around the eyes
  • A burning sensation in the eyes
  • Watering eyes with a sensitivity to light
  • Full closing of the eyes
  • Painful headaches
  • Trouble distinguishing between colors or seeing red

Simply wearing UV-protective sunglasses or snow goggles can prevent snow blindness. Shading your peepers will greatly reduce the amount of glare that strikes your eyes and prevent them from sustaining damage.

In most cases, snow blindness disappears quickly after resting the eyes and/or remaining indoors. However, if symptoms last more than a couple of hours, we advise that you contact your ilumin ophthalmologist immediately.

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