Winter has officially arrived, which means in some parts of the country biting winds and frigid rains and sometimes snow are also in the forecast. You would never even conceive of leaving the house without a coat in cooler conditions, however surprisingly, far too many people leave their sunglasses behind. While the sun isn't always our primary consideration when we are battling the freezing winter climate, the sun is still in full force during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. Particularly following a serious snow fall, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually magnifies the reflection of the sunlight. In fact, it can be painful to open your eyes when you first step outdoors following a fresh snowfall. The UV exposure that many of us are so vigilant to avoid in the summer months can actually be more dangerous in the winter because it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you double exposure. This is why a good pair of sunglasses is a crucial winter accessory.
While you want to feel great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Be sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for confirmation that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. Don't worry, proper sun protection doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive pair. Dozens of affordable brands are made with full defense.
Another important factor in picking the right sun wear is the size of the lenses. 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 stop radiation from sneaking in from the sides.
For those who enjoy snow or ice sports, you should know that UV rays are stronger at peak heights, so it's wise to be especially careful to keep your eyes guarded on the ski slope. For added protection add on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.
Be informed about the dangers of UV damage to your eyes all year long. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.