Look stylish but protect your vision on the slopes in 2012

Look stylish but protect your vision on the slopes in 2012

By Alexa Kaczka

Plenty of people will be heading to the ski slopes in the months ahead but there are some who will forget one of the most important pieces of equipment when they travel – sunglasses.

Although not traditionally associated with being warm and sunny destinations, many people do not realise that mountaintops where many of the planet's best ski resorts are located expose people to more UV rays than low-altitude destinations.

It is estimated that UV exposure increases by five per cent for every 1,000 meters a person travels above sea level, meaning people on ski holidays could be risking their vision by not wearing eye protection on the slopes.

Dharmesh Patel, chairman of the Eyecare Trust, said that there are certain types of sunglasses people should look for when going on a skiing holiday.

He explained: "Sunglasses suitable for winter sports are generally made from pliant materials that can withstand the cold and resist breaking or shattering on impact."

The expert noted that polycarbonate lenses cost slightly more, but are highly resistant to shattering and filter out a large proportion of UV light without additional coatings.

Mr Patel added: "Peripheral vision is important for skiing – ideally you should be able to see 180 degrees - so look for goggles with large, wide lenses or wrap-around sunglasses with the least amount of distortion you can find."

According to the specialist, polarised lenses can also help filter out glare and reflected light so people should also look out for these when compiling their list of items to take on a ski holiday.

Recently, Liz Segre, editorial director of AllAboutVision.com, said that skiers should think about buying two or three goggles to make sure they are ready for all the different light situations.

It is probably smarter to choose a goggle that lets people change the lenses when they wish, so if the slopes are in shadow in the morning and sunny later on, they will be prepared.

by Alexa Kaczka

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