Snow Blindness in the winter months can be easily caused because of snow being highly reflective of ultraviolet radiation.
In fact, snow can reflect more than 80 percent of the UV rays that fall upon it. Also, skiing, mountain climbing and snowboarding usually take place at relatively high altitudes, where the sun's UV rays are stronger. Combined, these factors can double your risk of getting sunburned eyes, compared with being outdoors at lower altitudes in the summertime.
You can become snowblind without sunlight, too, as sometimes it can occur from man-made sources of ultraviolet radiation, such as a flash from a welding source. Though this type of injury usually is called a flash burn, the mechanism of action and symptoms are very much the same as those of snow blindness.
When I spend time in my workshop welding, I use a auto-darkening welding helmet, and have never experienced a flash burn, but I do know those who have, and the experience is no fun!
So protect your eyes from snow blindness or flashburns, no matter whether its summer at the beach, or hiking at high elevations in the mountains, or welding in the shop (or watching someone weld).
On this day I'm wearing my polarized sunglasses with UV protection while out tramping through the snow covered grasslands of southeastern Alberta.
Expand the photo for a closer look.....