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Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries to the Eye

Skiing is amazing. As an oculoplastic surgeon, I love skiing but also treat patients who sustains injuries during skiing or snowboarding. These are the most common injuries that I see as an oculoplastic surgeon.

The most important thing is that when you sustain an injury to see an oculoplastic surgeon immediately. In many of these injuries early intervention can provide a better result.

Eyelid laceration

Not wearing goggles can result in a tree branch or other object cutting the eyelid during a fall. When the eyelid is cut it generally needs to be repaired not only relatively quickly but also accurately so there is no notch in the eyelid. The eyelid has function along with providing protection of the eye, it also lubricates the surface of the eye. Its proper repair is critical. With eyelid lacerations near the tear duct can damage the tear duct which would also need repair at the same time.

Orbital Fracture

Sustained trauma to the eye socket can result in an orbital fracture. Recently I had two patients (one skier and one snowboarding) who had orbital fractures. One needed surgery, the other did not. Indications for repair of orbital fracture include enophthalmos (eye sinking in), double vision and large fractures. Learn more about orbital surgery.

Sunburn to eyelid

In the bright sunny Colorado ski mountains, the strong sun can sunburn and damage the eyelid. Sunburned eyelids can have trouble closing or even bleed. Eye goggles prevent this injury.

Double vision from brain trauma

Hitting your head can obviously damage your skull and brain. Damage to the brain center for vision can create double vision from damage to the nerve nucleus. It is extremely important to wear a helmet when snowboarding or skiing.

Corneal Abrasion

The cornea of the eye can become scratched from a bad fall. When the surface of the eye is scratched, it can be painful and the vision can be reduced. It needs to be monitored for it to heal properly.

Corneal Solar Keratopathy

The suns rays in the mountains are extremely strong. It can damage the surface the of the eye (cornea). Not wearing goggles can lead to this damage of the surface of the eye. An ophthalmologist or corneal specialist

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