It's official! Winter is here, which means in some locations bitter cold winds and cold precipitation aren't far behind. You would never even conceive of leaving the house without a coat in overcast conditions, but surprisingly, a lot of people don't think to wear sunglasses. Although many of us don't think about the shining sunshine when we are bundling up against the freezing winter climate, the sun's rays are still a present danger in colder climates, and sometimes can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. In particular after a snow storm, the world around takes on a glistening glow due to the sunlight reflecting off of the water molecules blanketing the earth. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outdoors after a glistening snow. The ultraviolet radiation that we are all so vigilant to avoid in the summer months can really be more hazardous in the wintertime because it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a double dose of exposure. This is the reason a good pair of sunglasses is an essential part of your winter attire.
While it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of selecting sunglasses is being certain they will properly do their job. Check that they are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers – UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to purchase designer glasses to guarantee complete protection from the sun. Many of the more affordable options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.
Another important consideration in selecting sun wear is the size of the frame. You will have the most protection when the lenses completely 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 get past your sunglasses. Wrap around frames will also keep UV waves from sneaking in from the periphery.
If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that ultraviolet rays are more powerful at higher elevations, so it's wise to be especially sure to protect your eyes on the slopes. Another way to add extra protection is to wear a protective hat with a wide brim or visor.
This winter, stay warm and keep your eyes safe! Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.