Winter Sports

At high altitude you are exposed to higher levels of both ultraviolet and infrared radiation than found at sea level. These rays can cause severe eye and skin problems if precautions are not taken and well fitting goggles or sunglasses are an essential piece of kit along with a high factor suncream applied regularly on all exposed skin.

The white snow surface also reflects the bright sunlight to further intensify the glare on an unprotected eye which without adequate protection can cause snow blindness. The effects of this can range from mild discomfort to intense pain and loss of vision for varying amounts of time.

Due to the vagaries of mountain weather, skiers may be out in flat light or misty conditions and clear conditions with bright sunshine at different times on the same day. These differing conditions require different lenses to suit. High UV protection is still necessary in poor light/misty conditions but a light enhancing tint is more appropriate with the added benefit of showing up bumps in the snow surface.

winter sports eyewear

Goggles are used to both protect the eyes from glare and to shield from cold winds. Goggles can have interchangeable lenses for differing light conditions, be double layered and vented to reduce risk of steaming up and should have a good head strap to enable them to be used over a helmet. If goggles are to be used exclusively then two lens types should

be considered; One for low, misty or flat light conditions, and the other for bright sunny conditions which may have a mirrored coating and a darker lens. Polarised lenses are recommended where possible due to the high levels of reflected light from snow. We can supply both adults and smaller / junior sizes.

Spectacle wearers can get versions designed to fit over their glasses or ones which accommodate an insert to take their lenses. The other alternative is contact lenses which are very successful for skiers keeping things simple and allowing standard goggles and sunglasses to be worn, albeit following the key criteria above.

To check that your vision is as clear as possible whatever your sport - book an eye examination with one of our Optometrists as well as seeing our dispensing team to discuss your sports eyewear requirements.