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Home » What's New » The Dangers of the Sun to Your Eyes – In the Winter

The Dangers of the Sun to Your Eyes – In the Winter

Winter has officially arrived, which means in some areas whipping winds and freezing rain, snow and sleet aren't far behind. You wouldn't ever conceive of leaving the house without a coat in overcast conditions, however unfortunately, far too many people leave their sunglasses behind. Although the sun isn't always our primary concern when we are bundling up against the bitter winter climate, the sun's rays are still in full force during the winter months, and in many instances can be even more powerful.

They didn't write a song called "winter wonderland" for no reason. Particularly following a heavy snow fall, 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 hurt to open your eyes when you first step outdoors following a glistening snow. The ultraviolet exposure that most of us are so careful to avoid during the summertime may really be more hazardous in the wintertime because it bounces off the snow or ice, resulting in double exposure. This is why a proper pair of sunglasses is a necessary part of your winter wardrobe.

Even though you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when selecting sunglasses is checking that they will properly do their job. Ensure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV light by looking for confirmation 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.) Don't worry, proper protection for your eyes doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive pair. Many of the more inexpensive brands are made with total protection.

A further important feature in choosing sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses totally guard your eyes and the areas around them. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful UV rays will be able to enter. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent radiation from sneaking in from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, it’s important to know that the sun's rays are stronger at peak heights, so you need to be even more cautious to keep your eyes guarded on the ski slope. Another way to add extra protection is to wear a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Be in the know about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't leave home without your sunglasses.