I have always had poor eyesight, having an eyeglass prescription from my early school days, it is a fact of my life and I rarely complain or think about it. Yes, there are procedures to correct and eliminate the need for the prescription glasses, but for my situation the cost is prohibitive and I prefer glasses over a botched procedure. However this means dealing with my vision while skiing. Here are the ways I deal with my skiing vision!
Skiing Vision — Regular Exams
I visit my optometrist on an annual basis. I talk to him about my situation as a person who likes to ski and have made him aware of problems I face as a skier with poor vision. Joe has effectively provided advice and change to my prescriptions to help. The consideration he has given has had noticeable positive effect on m skiing. I had a pair of contact lenses that would move about at high speeds (even under goggles) and I would have moments of impaired vision. I mentioned that to him and he suggested a change of contact lens and I have not had that problem since. Thanks Joe!
The key thing is talk to your eye care specialist about your ski passion and let them know of your needs. They will be able to help with your skiing vision. They may also be able to help guide you on getting good eye protection.
Skiing Vision — Contact Lenses
My primary way of dealing with skiing vision is to wear contact lenses. This is not eliminate the need for glasses, but at least when I am actually skiing I am fine and do not need glasses. With the help of my optometrist I have contacts that help me safely navigate the slopes.
Why do I still need glasses? Simple, when I wear contacts my near and fine vision goes bad and I need reading glasses. Fortunately, when I am skiing down the slope at 40 miles per hour I don’t need those glasses. When I am on break attempting to keep up with my social media networks and TraceSnow details on my phone I need those cheater glasses. I always attempt to keep a pair on me, a small pair in tube.
Still, I keep my main glasses close by. In the past I have had been wearing old contacts that started to irritate my eyes so I stopped skiing, removed the contacts, and put on my main glasses. Also, sometimes when the day is done I immediately switch back to my glasses.
Skiing Vision — Eye Protection
Skiing last weekend I was on the edge of a trail and I saw a branch reaching out onto the trail and as I zoomed by that branch I noticed getting whacked by that branch. If I had not been wearing a pair of clear sunglasses or my goggles there is a chance I could have got a stick in the eye (and we all know how fun that is). Of course it may not be a stick, maybe you are skiing under the lift and someone drops something that could intersect with your eyeball, maybe some children throw something and hit you, maybe you are skiing in a faceshot and something solid kicks up, etc. When moving fast through space it is a good idea to protect your eyes and that is what a pair of sunglasses or goggles do.
The other thing glasses and goggles do is to keep that cold air off of your eyes preventing your eyes from tearing up. They also keep snow off of your eyes. I know people tell me their eyes get used to the cold air in a few runs, but regardless, do not mess around with your most used sense!
One last piece of eye protection is blocking the UV rays from reaching your eyes. We all know the UV light is damaging to our skin, it is also damaging to our eyes and when on the snow (and water) we get an enhanced dose of UV. Even most of the cheapest sunglasses and goggles have UV filtering so cost is no excuse there!
Even on warms days I want something protecting my eyes.
Skiing Vision — Vision Enhancement
The other thing possible through goggles and sunglasses is skiing vision enhancement. Cutting down on the light reaching your eyes can help you relax your eyes allowing them to work on watching the terrain. Of course, adding tint to the eyewear can help when the light is low and we need extra help in seeing bumps. In poor light conditions even substantial terrain features can be hidden, selecting the right eyewear helps your skiing vision see those changes in terrain.
Skiing Vision — How About You?
In short, it is important for many reasons to wear proper eyewear while skiing or snowboarding. What special measures do you take to protect and optimize your skiing vision? Do you wear glasses when skiing or like me do you prefer contact lenses? Share with all please!