Is Eating Snow Bad for Your Eyes?

Eating Snow is not Associated with Eye Illnesses

You will not damage your vision if you eat snow, but that does not mean that eating snow is the correct thing to do.

Do Not Confuse Eating Snow with Snow Blindness

Snow blindness is a very painful eye condition that is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light. There is a transparent outer layer in your eyes that is called the cornea, bad UV light exposure will sunburn your cornea.

Snow blindness can be very frightening as their symptoms include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Blurred vision and headaches
  • Temporary vision loss in some cases

Give your eyes some rest and stop exposing them to UV rays and your vision should get to normal.

The disease is called Snow Blindness because snow have reflective qualities that makes UV rays cause damage more easily.

So the answer is that no, Snow Blindness and eating snow have nothing to do with each other, unless some of the snow you eat falls on your eyes.

Eating Snow Will Not Inflict You with Snow Blindness

So you can eat snow now knowing that it will not inflict you Snow Blindness, but severe cold temperatures and dryness can make things worse and making photokeratitis (Snow Blindness) more usual.

Is Snow Safe to Eat?

Snow is such a beatiful gift of nature and is mostly made of water so you might be wondering, is snow really safe to eat?

It Greatly Depents on the Quality of the Air

Snow will form taking into account all of the contaminants in the air. You can use the quality of the air around your city as a measuring gauge to evaluate if the snow is safe or not. Urban industrial areas are more prone to have an abundant quantity of contaminants in the air making eating snow a more dangerous bet to make.

Fresh Snow is Usually Safer

Snow that has been sitting for a while can gather more dirt and contaminants in their bulk. You must be aware of the surroundings and the surface on which the snow has formed to better guess the safety of eating it.

Fresh snow however will only carry the impurities that have been around in the forming process.

Eating Snow is Not Related with Visual Snow Syndrome


Visual Snow Syndrome Nervous System Disease Not Associated with Eating Snow

VSS is a Neurological disorder, the visual snow syndrome happens when the information that comes through your eyes is not processed right. It is a weird syndrome because every part of your optic system is normally working fine. The signals that the eyes receive is sent to the brain, but it gets disrupted in the process.

Visual Snow Syndrome is a Rare Condition Not Related to Eating Snow

Science does not know exactly what causes visual snow disorder, but it is considered a nervous system disease.

When you develop visual snow syndrome, your entire field of vision gets compromised.

It is said that a person that has visual snow syndrome sees things through a static film, just like on an old tv set.

Eating snow and developing visual snow syndrome does not have any proven correlation.

Does Eating Snow Cause Burning Eyes?

First you need to know what the burning eyes condition really is, and then we can have enough data to determine if eating snow causes it.

Burning Eyes is Associated with UV Rays Exposure

What happens is that when we face extreme weather, opening the eyes fully is hard. When we force our eyes open, the cornea can freeze.

A frozen cornea is very painful and often lead to problems like blurry vision and extreme light sensitivity.

UV Protect Your Eyes Especially During Winter

People think that they need to wear glasses only when summer comes around, but that is not true at all. Winter demands lots of protection against strong winds and UV ray’s exposure.

As we already discussed, snow and UV rays can inflict snow blindness and cataracts.

Eating Snow and Painful Experiences

Did you ever eat a bunch of ice scream in one byte?

If you did like many others, I bet the sensation was not one of the most pleasureable ones.

Eating Snow and Ice Cream Comparison

When we eat or drink something that is extremely cold in comparison to our body temperature, there occurs a drop in the palate temperate (our mouth roof). That cause the blood vessels in the area to constrict.

After they shrink, they open up quickly, this quick constriction and expansion sends a pain signal to a nerve called the trigeminal nerve. These nerves extend to our forehead and midface causing the so called brainfreeze.

Eating Snow Can Cause Severe Pain Close to the Eyes

An interesting fact of the ice crem headace is that it is an example of a “referred pain”, a pain that is caused in one part of the body but is felt in another. So yes, eating snow can cause lots of pain in the peripheral areas of your forehead and eyes.

Eating Snow is Harmless to the Eyes, UV Rays Are Not

I hope that as you are getting to the bottom of this article, you have realised that eating snow is dangerous under some conditions, but the worst enemy for our eyes is unprotected UV ray’s exposure.

UV Rays Overexposure May Result in Permanent Eye Damage

UV ray’s overexposure is the root cause of many eye conditions, protecting our eyes properly against UV rays is one of the best things we can do to maintain our vision sharp for years to come.

UV ray’s exposure are linked to many eye conditions such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Eye cancers
  • Photokeratitis
  • Ptrygium

So make sure to always a good UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses near you to protect your eyes from further harm.

There isn’t Enough Evidence to Support that Eating Snow Cause Eye Damage

So apart from us knowing that snow has reflective properties that can make UV ray’s exposure even worse for us, there is not much of a correlation between the snow itself and its ability to inflict eye conditions.

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