Winter is officially here, which means in some areas stinging winds and cold rains and sometimes snow are also in the forecast. You would never even contemplate of leaving the house without a jacket in freezing climates, but unfortunately, many people leave their sunglasses at home. Although many of us don't think about the shining sun when we are venturing out to the freezing winter climate, the sun's rays are still shining down in colder climates, and in many instances can be even more powerful.
For times when you find yourself snowed in, you should be even more cautious. Particularly following a snow storm, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually magnifies the reflection of the sun's rays. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outside after a glistening snow. The ultraviolet exposure that many of us are so vigilant in avoiding during the summertime can really be more dangerous during the winter since it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in double exposure. This is the reason a proper pair of sunglasses is an essential winter accessory.
Even though you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is checking that they will properly do their job. Be sure they are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is proper protection for your eyes isn't necessarily expensive. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total UV coverage.
Another important feature in selecting sun wear is frame size. You will have the most protection when your glasses are large enough to completely shield your eyes and if possible the surrounding areas. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful UV rays will be able to get past your sunglasses. Glasses with side shield will also stop UV waves from sneaking in from the sides.
If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that UV radiation is stronger at peak heights, so be even more careful to keep your eyes covered on the hills. For further protection add on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.
This winter, stay warm and stay protected! Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.