Sports + Leisure

Better vision for winter sports

Many fans of skiing and snowboarding, both with and without eyesight correction, "fly blind" down the slopes.

16 October 2019
  • Better vision for winter sports

As everyone knows, if you have poor vision and are dealing with strong sunlight, you should be wearing glasses. This is even more important for fans of all winter sports, be it alpine skiing, cross-country skiing or snowboarding, as good eyeglass lenses are essential to making sure you enjoy your vacation in the snow. Many of those who do winter sports don't take the time to consider the right eyeglass lenses. A lot of people don't realize that the right eyeglass lenses for winter sports don't just increase safety, fun and the effect of the spectacular views – they also make a big difference to the health of your eyes.

Most people can't wait for their winter vacation, and many people are already hitting the snow-covered glaciers as the season begins. Winter sports are great fun and a fantastic way to experience nature. Some people love to glide through the white flats, while others prefer to bomb down the piste at high speed. And of course, everyone loves the fun of the après-ski. However, although a winter vacation can be wonderful, it also has its risks. Most people are aware of this – which makes it all the more astounding that so many skiers and snowboarders with poor eyesight either wear glasses or contact lenses with insufficient correction, or even none at all. Even those with good vision should make sure that their sunglasses or ski goggles offer sufficient protection for their eyes.

Sports glasses don't just help you to see better – they also protect your eyes against the wind, cold, foreign bodies and damaging UV light. Like skis and snowboards, they should be an integral part of winter sports. According to studies, a number of skiing accidents are caused by poor vision. The ideal remedy for this is to wear customized sports glasses with a good UV filter, or contact lenses combined with high UV protection ski goggles. After all, the winter sun can be a killer, and snow and altitude in the mountains intensify the radiation. Reflections off the snow can increase the effects of sunlight by to 90 percent. This can cause retinal whitening and make it more difficult to adjust from darkness to light, thus greatly impairing vision. The effects of doing winter sports without optimum visual devices can be painful – there is not just an increased risk of accidents, but also of eyelid spasms, strong lacrimation and reddened conjunctivae.

Light, robust, customised

Good winter sports glasses should fulfill the following criteria:

  • High resistance to shattering and scratches
  • Minimal weight (plastic lenses ideal)
  • Padding in critical areas
  • Anatomically customized for comfortable seating
  • Minimum impairment on field of vision

Dynamically  curved glasses frames  with curved eyeglass lenses, like Clarlet Loop lenses from ZEISS, are ideal for winter sports. They protect the eyes against wind and sun, and are the height of sports fashion.

Ski goggles with ZEISS lenses: Safety first

Ski goggles with lenses from ZEISS Vision Care: Safety first

Carl Zeiss Vision precision optics are also available for ski goggles. Like classic ZEISS lenses, we have worked hard to ensure the quality and durability of these products. The visors in ski goggles must be strong enough to withstand the shocks of winter sports while also providing optimum protection for the eyes:

  • Top quality materials: Polycarbonate visors for shock resistance
  • Thanks to their protective resin coating, your ski goggles with Carl Zeiss optics won't disappoint, even in harsh conditions.
  • 100 percent UVA and UVB protection keeps your eyes as safe as possible from the dangers and potential damage caused by strong sunlight.
  • ZEISS Vision Care visors for ski goggles have been developed to guarantee sharpness of vision and allow the user to clearly see the hazards encountered when skiing or snowboarding, e.g. trees, rocks and contours in the landscape.
  • Snow, rain, melting ice, extreme glare and reflection: just some of the challenges that ski goggles have to deal with. The solution: water and dirt-resistant CleanCoat protection.
  • Mirrored glasses aren't just a fashion trend – they also reduce the effects of glare and filter out dangerous sun rays, especially at high altitudes and on bright, sunny days. The thicker the mirror, the more protection it offers.

Look for ZEISS lenses for example in googles from vendors like GIROANON or POC.

These sunglasses can also be fitted with the all-important anti-glare technology for winter sports: polarization filters minimize the increased glare cause by snow and sunlight. This is extremely important for activities such as cross-country skiing, so that the wearer can see moguls and unevenness more clearly. A good antireflective coating is also recommended.

Good news for snowboarders and Alpine skiers: eyeglass wearers can now get special ski goggles to wear over their normal glasses. This combination works for all but the most unusual of eyeglass frames.

Better still, you can get your eye care professional to adapt a type of clip with lenses dressed to fit perfectly underneath your ski goggles.

Adaptable self-tinting lenses

Self-tinting lenses are an alternative for those who like to take it easy when doing winter sports and who value relaxation and comfort. Their photosensitive coating offers optimum eye protection, and the lenses adapt to quick changes in lighting conditions. They are activated by UV rays, darkening as soon as they come in contact with sunlight. Once the sun disappears, the lenses become clear again.

Self-tinting lenses constantly adapt to the changing light conditions outside, so that your eyes always get the right amount of light. They are available in different colors (brown and grey), and of course they always block out 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.

Beware of cheap offers

Cheap sport and sunglasses are an absolute no-go for those with poor vision, and they're not recommended for those who see well, either. Not only do they provide insufficient UV protection, the lenses are often very dark, causing the pupils to open wider. This allows even more damaging UV rays into the eyes.

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