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The Dangers of UV to Your Eyes – In the Winter

It’s official! Winter is here, which means in some locations biting winds and freezing rains and sometimes snow aren’t far behind. You would never even think of leaving the house without a jacket in freezing climates, however surprisingly, many people leave their sunglasses at home. While many of us aren’t thinking about the shining sun during times that we are bundling up against the freezing cold, the sun is still in full force during the winter months, and in many instances can be even more powerful.

On occasions that you frequent a location with snow, it is wise to be extra careful. In particular after a blizzard, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually intensifies the reflection of the sunlight. In fact, in many cases it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outside following a glistening snowfall. The ultraviolet radiation that we are all so vigilant about in the summertime may actually be more hazardous during the winter because it bounces off the snow or ice, resulting in a second exposure. This is the reason good sunglasses are a necessary winter accessory.

Although you want to look great in your sunglasses, the most important consideration when deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers – UV400. The good news is proper sun protection isn’t necessarily expensive. Many of the more affordable options exist that still provide total ultraviolet coverage.

Another important feature in picking the right sun wear is size. You will have the most protection when your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also keep harmful rays from sneaking in from the periphery.

Although it’s much more commonly known these days that sunglasses are essential to wear on the water because the water intensifies UV radiation, this also applies to frozen water sources including ice and snow. Therefore it is just as important to put on sunglasses during times when you go out in wintery conditions. Further ultraviolet exposure is more forceful at high elevations so if you have plans to hit the slopes have this in mind.

Make a point to be in the know about proper eye protection throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.