Guarding Your Eyes Against The Winter Sun
Winter has officially arrived, which means in some areas bitter cold winds and frigid precipitation aren't far behind. You would never even contemplate of leaving the house without a coat in overcast conditions, but unfortunately, many people don't think to put on their sunglasses. Although many of us don't think about the shining sun when we are venturing out to the bitter cold, the sun is still a present danger in colder climates, and in many instances can be even stronger.
On occasions that you find yourself snowed in, it is wise to be extra careful. Especially following a blizzard, the world around takes on a sparkling glimmer thanks to the sun's rays reflecting off of the water molecules blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outside following a fresh snow. The ultraviolet exposure that we are all so careful to avoid in the summer months can really be more dangerous in the wintertime because it bounces off the snow or ice, resulting in a double dose of exposure. This is why sunglasses are a crucial winter accessory.
Even though you want to look great in your sunglasses, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they will properly do their job. Be 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 doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive pair. Dozens of inexpensive brands are made with complete ultraviolet coverage.
Another important feature in selecting sun wear is lens size. You will have the most protection when your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Wrap around frames will also stop radiation from entering from the sides.
For the skiers or snowboarders out there, it’s important to be aware that ultraviolet radiation is stronger at higher altitudes, so it's wise to be especially sure to guard yourself on the slopes. For further protection put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.
This winter, stay warm and stay protected! Don't forget to wear your shades.