The Dangers of UV to Your Eyes – In the Winter

It's official! Winter is here, which means in some parts of the country biting winds and cold rains and sometimes snow aren't far behind. Most of us would never even contemplate of leaving the house without a jacket in cooler conditions, however surprisingly, many people leave their sunglasses behind. While many of us don't think about the glaring sunshine during times that we are venturing out to 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. In particular in the aftermath of a serious snow fall, the world around takes on a sparkling glow as a result of the sunlight reflecting off of the water molecules blanketing the earth. In fact, without sunglasses it can be painful to open your eyes when you first step outdoors following a heavy snowfall. The ultraviolet exposure that we are all so careful to avoid during the summer can really be more hazardous in the winter due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, giving you a second exposure. This is the reason proper sunglasses are a crucial part of your winter attire.

Even though you want to feel great in your sunglasses, the most important consideration when deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is being certain they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking 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 inexpensive options exist that still provide complete UV defense.

Another important consideration in selecting sun wear is frame size. You want to make sure your glasses completely guard your eyes and the surrounding areas as well. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to enter. Glasses with side shield will also keep radiation from sneaking in from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, it’s important to know that ultraviolet rays are stronger at higher elevations, so be particularly sure to protect yourself on the slopes. For further protection wear a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

This wintertime, keep warm and stay protected! Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.

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