If you love skiing, snowboarding or other winter sports, you know how important it is to protect your eyes. You should be making efforts to protect your vision with all outdoor activities, but this is especially true for skiing and winter sports - where your eyesight needs extra care. The white snow reflects up to 80% of sun rays and every 1,000 of altitude the UV ray ratio increases by 10%. And that’s a serious matter, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to eye irritation and even cornea burns.
Besides, when flying down the slopes you want to enjoy perfectly clear all-round vision to react in the blink of the eye to any eventuality. Sports and contact lenses are always a great combination, so if you want to be perfectly equipped for your trips to the slopes, the best solution is skiing with contact lenses: daily, two-weekly, monthly, or toric and multifocal. We’ll tell you why.
Advice for skiing with contact lenses
- Contact lenses provide you with crisper and better peripheral vision, they're also compatible with headwear - so won't get in the way, unlike glasses
- Choose contact lenses with a high UV resistance to ensure you’re protected against harmful light
- Always combine your contact lenses with quality sunglasses or goggles for total eye safety
Skiing with contact lenses vs glasses
Whether you are a regular at ski resorts or enjoy the occasional alpine getaway, skiing with contact lenses is your best choice to experience perfect vision and total freedom of movement. As you know, wearing glasses with goggles is not the most comfortable option, and getting goggles with a prescription can be notoriously expensive.
They can be costly, and once you have your pair, you’re kind of stuck with it. Besides, prescription skiing goggles or glasses can bounce up and down, temporarily affecting your vision, and in general they offer limited peripheral vision.
Contact lenses, on the other hand, are totally compatible with all kinds of headwear, and no matter if you look down the slope or at that other skier behind you from the corner of your eye, you will always have clear vision. This way you won’t need prescription goggles/glasses and changing them will be easier and cheaper. But, most importantly, many contact lenses include high levels of UV protection, ideal for sunny days in the snow.
Best contact lenses for skiing? Choose models with UV protection
As much as you enjoy skiing on lovely bright days, it’s important to be aware of the risks that it entails, especially being so far from ground level. Snow reflects up to 80% of sunlight, and the proportion of UV rays (UV-A and UV-B) increases as the altitude increases. All this can be very damaging to your eyes, causing extra strain, sunburn or even cornea damage.
Fortunately, many contact lens models already include UV protection. There are two UV blocking classifications according to the levels of UV they are able to block:
- Class 1: Contact lenses blocking 90% of UV-A and 99% of UV-B
- Class 2: Contact lenses blocking 70% of UV-A and 95% of UV-B
Whether you use daily contact lenses for your occasional mountain escapes or monthly contact lenses for more regular use, there’s an option for you. For example, Acuvue Oasys 1-DAY with HydraLuxe, Avaira Vitality or Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism offer Class 1 UV protection. For a Class 2 protection, you can choose everclear ELITE, Clariti 1 Day Toric or Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia.
More on contact lenses with UV filter
Combine contact lenses with skiing sunglasses or goggles
Contact lenses with UV protection are of great help when skiing, snowboarding or doing any other winter sport. However, it’s never a bad idea to protect your eyes even further, so we’d always recommend you combine them with sunglasses or ski goggles.
What models are the best? Depending on how often you go skiing, the weather that day or your personal preferences, there’s a wide range of options - regular sunglasses or goggles, category 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4, UV cylindrical or spherical lenses, lighter or darker tints, mirrored or polarized. However, no matter what, ensure they are from an approved manufacturer and they offer the right kind of UV protection your eyes need.