It's official! Winter is here, which means in some parts of the country whipping winds and cold rain, snow and sleet aren't far behind. The majority of us would never even conceive of leaving the house without a jacket in cooler conditions; nevertheless surprisingly, many people leave their sunglasses behind. While the sun isn't always our first consideration during times that we are venturing out to the bitter winter climate, the sun's rays are still a present danger in colder climates, and in many instances can be even stronger.
For times when you live in or plan to visit a location with snow, you should be extra cautious. In particular in the aftermath of a snow storm, the world around takes on a glistening glimmer due to the sunlight reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, without sunglasses it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outdoors after a fresh snowfall. The UV sunlight that most of us are so careful in protecting ourselves against in the summer may actually be more hazardous during the winter due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in a double dose of exposure. This is why a proper pair of sunglasses is a necessary winter accessory.
While you want to look great in your sunglasses, the most important consideration when deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is checking that they will properly do their job. Be sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by checking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. Don't worry, proper sun protection isn't necessarily expensive. Many of the more reasonably priced options exist that still provide total protection.
Another important consideration in picking the right sun wear is the size of the frame. You want to make sure the lenses are large enough to totally shield your eyes and if possible the areas around them as well. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Glasses with side shield will also prevent UV waves from entering from the periphery.
Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are essential to wear on the water because the water reflects sunlight, this is also true for snow and ice. Therefore it is equally essential to put on sunglasses when out in wintery conditions. Also UV radiation is more powerful at greater elevations such as mountain ski slopes.
This winter, stay warm and keep your eyes safe! Don't leave home without your shades.