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Home » What's New » The Winter Sun and Your Eyes

The Winter Sun and Your Eyes

It's official! Winter is here, which means in some areas bitter cold winds and frigid rain, snow and sleet are also on the horizon. The majority of us wouldn't ever conceive of leaving the house without a heavy sweater or coat in icy conditions; nevertheless surprisingly, a lot of people leave their sunglasses behind. While many of us aren't thinking about the shining sunshine when we are venturing out to the frigid cold, the sun's rays are still a present danger in colder climates, and sometimes can be even more powerful.

For times when you live in or plan to visit an area with snow, it is wise to be even more cautious. Particularly after a serious snow fall, the world around takes on a glistening glimmer thanks to the sun's rays reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the earth. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outdoors after a glistening snow. The UV sunlight that we are all so vigilant to avoid during the summer may actually be more hazardous in the winter since it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in a double dose of exposure. This is why good sunglasses are an essential part of your winter wardrobe.

Even though it's important to look great in your sunglasses, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they will properly protect your eyes. Make certain your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by checking for an indication that they are labeled UV 400 (this means they block all light with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which includes both UVA and UVB rays.) The good news is you don't necessarily have to purchase designer glasses to guarantee adequate coverage for your eyes. Dozens of affordable brands are made with total UV coverage.

Another important feature in selecting sun wear is size. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to enter. Wrap around frames will also keep radiation from sneaking in from the sides.

For those who enjoy snow or ice sports, it’s important to know that UV rays are stronger at peak heights, so it's wise to be even more cautious to keep your eyes covered on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to add on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

This winter, stay warm and keep your eyes safe! Don't leave home without your sunglasses.