It's official! Winter is here, which means in some parts of the country biting winds and cold rains and sometimes snow are also on the horizon. Most of us wouldn't ever contemplate leaving the house without a jacket in cooler conditions, however surprisingly, a lot of people don't think to wear sunglasses. While many of us don't think about the glaring sunshine during times that we are battling the freezing cold, the sun is still a present danger during the winter months, and sometimes can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for no reason. Especially in the aftermath of a serious snow , the blanket of snow covering the world around you, actually magnifies the reflection of the sun. In fact, in many cases it can be painful to open your eyes when you first leave the house after a glistening snowfall. The UV exposure that most people are so careful in avoiding in the summer may actually be more dangerous during the colder season because it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a double dose of exposure. This is why sunglasses are a necessary winter accessory.
Even though you want to look great in your sunglasses, the most important consideration when choosing sunglasses is checking that they will properly do their job. Make certain they are 100% UV blocking by looking 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 protection for your eyes. Many of the more inexpensive options exist that still provide complete 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 penetrate. Glasses with side shield will also keep harmful rays from entering through the periphery.
Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are essential to wear at the beach since the water reflects the sun's rays, this also applies to wintery water as well. Therefore it is equally critical to wear sunglasses during times when you go out skiing, ice skating or even taking a walk on a snowy day. Further UV radiation is more forceful at high elevations so if you have plans to hit the slopes have this in mind.
Be knowledgeable about suitable eye protection all year round. Don't leave home without your sunglasses.