As professional truck drivers are immersed in the complexities of winter weather, those who travel throughout areas of snowfall may find themselves subject to eye fatigue and strain. These symptoms are a direct result of weather. Eye strain and fatigue does not occur during a winter storm, but rather, after a storm with the sun comes out and hits the snow. This combination of sun and snow is a precursor to a condition called snow blindness.
Snow blindness, medically known as photokeratitis, occurs when one’s eyes are overexposed to excessive amounts of UV rays for an extended amount of time. In most cases, photokeratitis is temporary.
A gritty, painful feeling in the eyes
Sensitivity to light
Snow blindness may also be described as sunburned eyes, although in reality, it is only the cornea and the whites of the eyes that are sensitive to ultraviolet light. Snow is especially problematic for the cornea, because snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Fortunately, there are simple solutions to avoiding damage to a person’s corneas. For example, snow blindness may be prevented with a pair of high-quality polarizing sunglasses. Also, seeking shade wherever possible and wearing hats can be a good deterrent to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Eye strain, fatigue and photokeratitis are not the only eye problems professional truck drivers have to worry about during the winter months. Every time a driver steps outside he or she may be exposed to winter conditions that may be harmful to the eye.
Winter eye safety tips:
Do not rub your eyes when they itch. Doing this will only make it worse and cause more discomfort. Be particularly careful rubbing your eyes when you have your work gloves on. You do not want to end up getting dirt in your eyes. When your eyes itch, purchase some over-the-counter eye drops.
Keep your eyes hydrated so they can make a sufficient amount of tears. The air is drier in winter, so not having adequate tears can cause unnecessary irritation and fatigue.
Wear high-quality polarizing sunglasses.
Time outside of your truck can be dangerous for your eyes as well. Wear safety glasses or goggles when you can. Snow, ice and other debris can fly through the air and cause damage to your eyes if you leave them unprotected.
Eyes are a key component to what truck drivers do for a living. Eyes are among the most sensitive organ and should be taken care of during the winter months to avoid injury. Simple things such as wearing polarized sunglasses, using over-the-counter eye drops and drinking plenty of water will keep you on the road.