It's official! Winter is here, which means in some locations stinging winds and cold rains and sometimes snow are also on their way. You would never even contemplate of leaving the house without a jacket in freezing weather, but surprisingly, a lot of people don't think to wear sunglasses. While many of us don't think about the glaring sun when we are battling the freezing cold, the sun's rays are still in full force during the winter months, and sometimes can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. Especially after a snow storm, the blanket of snow covering the world around you, actually intensifies the reflection of the sun. In fact, in many cases it can be painful to open your eyes when you first leave the house following a fresh snowfall. The UV radiation that we are all so careful to avoid in the heat of the summer may really be more hazardous during the winter since it bounces off the snow or ice, resulting in a second exposure. This is the reason a good pair of sunglasses is a necessary part of your winter attire.
While you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when selecting sunglasses is checking that they will properly protect your eyes. Be sure they are 100% UV blocking by checking 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.) The good news is proper protection for your eyes isn't necessarily expensive. Dozens of affordable brands are made with total protection.
Another important factor in picking the right sun wear is lens size. You will have the most protection when your glasses completely shield your eyes and if possible the areas around them. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Wrap around frames will also keep radiation from entering 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 sunlight, this is also true for wintery water as well. Consequently it is equally essential to put on sunglasses during times when you go out skiing, ice skating or even taking a walk on a snowy day. Additionally ultraviolet exposure is stronger at greater heights such as mountain ski slopes.
Be knowledgeable about the dangers of the sun's radiation to your eyes all year long. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.