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Alisse

Glacier glasses - data/research?

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I know I could spend awhile Googling this, but it's more fun to make a thread ;) and I'm sure you all have some resources that I wouldn't find otherwise!

I'm wondering if any of you know of any peer-reviewed articles or research-based data about the efficacy of glacier glasses for short and long-term optical/eye health. 

It can't be as simple as...glacier glasses are darker and cover the eye area more = less visible light hitting eye = less UV radiation = lower risk of cell mutation... 

Alpine Ascents, first hit on Google: "Increased exposure to these UV rays can cause both temporary and permanent damage to our eyes, including photokeratitis (snow blindness), erythropsia, cataracts, and corneal burns. "

Is eye cancer not a thing? I thought UV radiation would affect eye cells like skin cells?

"According to the World Health Organization, “a thinner atmosphere [at altitude] filters less UV radiation. With every 1000 meters increase in altitude, UV levels increase by 10% to 12%”."

(https://www.alpineascents.com/blog/gear/what-are-glacier-glasses/)

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Not glacier glasses but UV, eyes, sunglasses: Article on UV damage to eyes

Explanation w scientific references

You'll note that a significant mode of exposure is reflection off the back of the glasses into the eyes. IMHO, reflection off snow is a concern in alpine climbing. When planning extended snow travel, consider using darker glasses and minimizing exposure due to reflection off the back of the glasses by wearing glasses that are larger and/or fit closer to your eyes and/or have barriers to prevent light entry from the sides/bottom.

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I get aviators and bend them to hug my face close. Haven't tried it, but in theory it should be possible to remove the lens and stick a piece of pantyhose or something to block the sides.

Yes to reflection off the glacier being a problem; last year I skimped on sunscreen but had a hat on Hood in June. My face was always in the shade... and took weeks to peel off and recover :)

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I use lots of sunscreen and my stylin' Cocoon sunglasses (side coverage + fit over my glasses) religiously. I haven't experienced any eye dryness or fatigue while or after extended glacier travel. I just want to ensure I don't do any long-term damage to my eyes even without symptoms now. I'm going to talk to my eye doctor!

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Of the 100-150 alpine climbers I've known personally over the past 20 years, 5 have died in climbing/skiing accidents, and many more have been seriously hurt/maimed or narrowly escaped death (including myself).  

I think eye damage is about the least of your worries in the long term.  But.... I guess it never hurts to take care of the things you can take care of.

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6 hours ago, JasonG said:

I think eye damage is about the least of your worries in the long term.  But.... I guess it never hurts to take care of the things you can take care of.

Duh!

Edited by Alisse

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