It's official! Winter is here, which means in some parts of the country biting winds and freezing rain, snow and sleet aren't far behind. The majority of us wouldn't ever think of leaving the house without a coat in icy conditions, but surprisingly, many people don't think to put on their sunglasses. While many of us aren't thinking about the glaring sun when we are bundling up against the freezing cold, the sun's rays are still a present danger in colder climates, and sometimes can be even more powerful.
For times when you frequent a location with snow, it is wise to be extra cautious. In particular after a blizzard, the world around takes on a sparkling glimmer due to the sunlight reflecting off of the water molecules blanketing the earth. In fact, without sunglasses it can hurt to open your eyes when you first leave the house following a fresh snow. The UV sunlight that most of us are so careful to avoid in the summertime may actually be more dangerous during the colder season due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, giving you a second exposure. This is the reason good sunglasses are a necessary part of your winter wardrobe.
Although you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of selecting sunglasses is checking that they will properly protect your eyes. Make sure they are 100% UV blocking by checking for confirmation that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more to guarantee full protection from UV. Dozens of affordable options exist that still provide complete ultraviolet defense.
Another important factor in selecting sun wear is frame size. You will have the most protection when the lenses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. 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 entering through the periphery.
Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are critical to wear at the beach since the water intensifies ultraviolet radiation, this also applies to snow and ice. Therefore it is equally critical to wear sunglasses during times when you go out in wintery conditions. Further ultraviolet radiation is more forceful at high altitudes, so if you plan to go skiing or snowboarding, take this into consideration.
Make a point to be in the know about suitable eye protection all year round. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.