SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The sun can damage your eyes as well as your skin.
It turns out you get 80 percent more damaging light when there is snow on the ground on a sunny day.
Snow is more than two times more reflective than sand and water. Without using protective sunglasses, you could expose your eyes damage from the sun. This extra reflected ultraviolet light could lead to snow blindness, which is when the surface of the eye gets irregular, dries out and breaks down.
Symptoms of snow blindness are a burning sensation in your eyes followed by excessive tearing which can be quite painful.
Dr. Kevin Hulseberg, an ophthalmologist at Holyoke Medical Center, told 22News, "That increased ultraviolet light is what you're feeling and damaging the surface of your eye, the actual cells of the eye, can get physical damage and harm comes to them."
Doctors can treat this sun blindness, but the sun can also cause cataracts to form and could even force the white part of your eye to grow across the cornea. The sun can also cause skin cancer on your eye lids. The higher you are in elevation, the worse the effects.