MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansans generally don't see enough snow on the ground to risk two common snow-related hazards. But, knowing how to recognize the problems can be helpful during trips to ski or snow country, said Mary Knapp, state climatologist of Kansas.

One affects the eyes and the other, the skin.

"Impaired vision or temporary blindness caused by sunlight reflected from snow surfaces is called snow blindness," said Knapp, who directs the Kansas Weather Data Library, based with Kansas State University Research and Extension

The symptoms include a gritty feeling under the eyelids, excessive watering of the eyes, and double vision.

"Remembering to wear sunglasses or snow goggles can help prevent the problem," she said.

The other hazard is snow burn. It is similar to sunburn in that it's a temporary inflammation of the skin surface. But, its cause is light reflected from snow, rather than direct sunlight, Knapp said.

"Keeping skin covered, when possible, and applying sun block can reduce the risk," she said.



SOURCE: K-State.