It's official! Winter is here, which means in some parts of the country whipping winds and freezing rain, snow and sleet aren't far behind. You would never even conceive of leaving the house without a coat in overcast weather, but unfortunately, many people leave their sunglasses at home. Although the sun may not be our primary concern when we are venturing out to the frigid cold, the sun is still shining down in colder climates, and sometimes can be even stronger.
For times when you frequent a location with snow, it is wise to be extra careful. In particular in the aftermath of a blizzard, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually magnifies the reflection of the sun. In fact, for many it can downright hurt your eyes when you first leave the house following a heavy snow. The ultraviolet exposure that we are all so careful in protecting ourselves against in the summer can really be more dangerous in the winter months due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in a double dose of exposure. This is why a proper pair of sunglasses is a crucial part of your winter attire.
Even though it's important to feel great in your sunglasses, the most important part of selecting sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Check that the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is proper protection for your eyes doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive pair. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total protection.
Another important feature in choosing sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses completely shield your eyes and if possible the surrounding areas as well. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to enter. Wrap around frames will also prevent UV waves from entering through the periphery.
Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are critical water gear since the water reflects sunlight, this also applies to frozen water sources including ice and snow. Consequently it is equally important to wear sunglasses when out in wintery conditions. Further UV exposure is stronger at greater altitudes such as mountain ski slopes.
This winter, stay warm and keep your eyes safe! Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.