The Winter Sun and Your Eyes
Winter has officially arrived, which means in some locations stinging winds and frigid rains and sometimes snow are also on their way. You would never even think of leaving the house without a jacket in freezing climates, but surprisingly, a lot of people leave their sunglasses at home. While the sun isn't always our primary concern when we are battling the frigid cold, the sun's rays are still shining down during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.
On occasions that you find yourself snowed in, it is wise to be even more cautious. Particularly following a snow storm, the world around takes on a glistening glow due to the sunlight reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, it can be painful to open your eyes when you first leave the house following a fresh snow. The UV radiation that we are all so vigilant in protecting ourselves against during the heat of the summer may actually be more hazardous during the winter months since it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a second exposure. This is why sunglasses are a necessary winter accessory.
Even though it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when choosing sunglasses is being certain they provide adequate protection against UV. Be sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by checking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. Don't worry, proper sun protection isn't necessarily expensive. Many of the more affordable options exist that still provide complete coverage.
Another important feature in picking the right sun wear is size. You want to make sure your glasses are large enough to completely cover your eyes and the areas around them. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also stop radiation from sneaking in from the periphery.
For those who enjoy snow or ice sports, you should know that UV rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be even more sure to keep your eyes shaded on the hills. For additional protection wear a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.
This winter, stay warm and stay protected! Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.