Winter is officially here, which means in some parts of the country whipping winds and freezing rain, snow and sleet are also in the forecast. You wouldn't ever conceive of leaving the house without a heavy sweater or coat in overcast weather; nevertheless unfortunately, far too many people leave their sunglasses at home. Although many of us don't think about the glaring sun during times that we are battling the bitter winter climate, the sun's rays are still shining down during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. In particular in the aftermath of a snow storm, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually intensifies the reflection of the sun's rays. In fact, it can hurt to open your eyes when you first step outdoors after a glistening snow. The UV sunlight that we are all so vigilant in protecting ourselves against in the summer months can actually be more dangerous during the winter months because it bounces off the snow or ice, resulting in double exposure. This is the reason good sunglasses are a crucial part of your winter attire.
Although it's important to look great in your shades, the most important part of selecting sunglasses is checking that they will properly do their job. Make sure they are 100% UV blocking by checking 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 pay more for full coverage from the sun. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide complete protection.
Another important feature in choosing sun wear is the size of the lenses. You will have the most protection when your glasses totally cover your eyes and if possible the areas around them as well. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to enter. Glasses with side shield will also prevent radiation from sneaking in through the periphery.
For those who enjoy snow or ice sports, you should know that UV radiation is stronger at higher altitudes, so be even more sure to protect your eyes on the ski slope. For added protection add on a wide bbrimmed hat that covers your eyes.
Be informed about the dangers of the sun's radiation to your eyes throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.