Winter is officially here, which means in some locations bitter cold winds and cold rains and sometimes snow are also on the horizon. Most of us wouldn't ever contemplate of leaving the house without a coat in overcast weather, but unfortunately, many people don't think to take their sunglasses. While many of us aren't thinking about the glaring sunshine when we are venturing out to the freezing cold, the sun is still in full force in colder climates, and sometimes can be even stronger.
On occasions that you frequent a location with snow, it is wise to be extra cautious. Especially in the aftermath of a heavy snow fall, the blanket of snow covering the world around you, actually magnifies the reflection of the sun's rays. In fact, in many cases it can be painful to open your eyes when you first step outdoors after a glistening snow. The ultraviolet radiation that we are all so careful to avoid in the summer months may actually be more dangerous in the winter due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, giving you a second exposure. This is why good sunglasses are an essential part of your winter attire.
Even though it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is checking that they will properly protect your eyes. Check that the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication 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 you don't necessarily have to purchase designer glasses for adequate protection for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced brands are made with complete ultraviolet coverage.
Another important consideration in selecting sun wear is frame size. You will have the most protection when your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to enter. Glasses with side shield will also prevent harmful rays from entering from the sides.
For those who enjoy snow or ice sports, you should be aware that the sun's rays are more powerful at peak heights, so be particularly cautious to protect your eyes on the slopes. Another way to add extra protection is put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.
Be in the know about the dangers of the sun's radiation to your eyes throughout the year. Don't leave home without your shades.