Essay On Snow Blindness

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Introduction Snow blindness is a severe form of photokeratitis or radiation keratitis1, inflammation of the cornea due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reflected off of snow and ice, normally at high altitudes as the atmosphere is thinner. Extreme cold temperatures and a dry environment can also contribute to snow blindness, as snow blindness is sometimes also referred to as the freezing and drying of the corneal surface.2 Snow blindness is usually associated to skiing, mountain climbing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling;2 as snow can reflect up to 80% of UVR.3This condition results from eye exposure to UV light for long periods of time. Signs and Symptoms The longer the eyes are exposed to the UVB, the more severe the signs and symptoms. Snow blindness signs and symptoms occur…show more content…
Another way to prevent UV exposure is by wearing a brimmed hat (as Ultraviolet light can still enter through the side of sunglasses).7 Epidemiology Males and females are equally at risk of getting snow blindness. There has also been no reported cases of mortality with this condition.8 Conclusion Photokeratitis or snow blindness, is a condition that causes eye pain in which the symptoms the begins 6 -12 hours after exposure. In this condition, the outer surface layer of the cornea loses epithelial cells and thereby exposes the subepithelial nerve endings. Upon examination, there is eye injection and oedema. Fluorescein staining may also show punctuate corneal staining. Pain relievers and eyedrops can be used for relief of symptoms.9 Lastly, photokeratitis is a preventable condition and individuals are advised to wear protective eyewear under conditions that involve harmful UV exposure and thereby preventing ocular damage. Reference
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