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Should You Wear Sunglasses In The Winter?

by John White |

UV Rays don’t retreat in winter

I live in Michigan, so with the onset of winter the days are cold, skies are cloudy and the sun moves slowy towards the South.

Now, it is true that during winter the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere points away from the sun. 

But don’t be fooled! 

If you’re outside, you’re still at risk for UV damage to your skin and eyes.

Ultraviolet Radition (UV Rays) in the winter

In fact, in the southern parts of the US there is little to no drop in the amount of UV radiation from the sun during the winter.

The truth is the sun's UV rays can be strong regardless of season or temperature.

Like to ski?

Here is something to consider: the higher the altitude the more intense the sun's UV rays.

Stronger UV means higher the risk for injury.

And, your eyes are exposed to reflection of the sun's rays from the snow field.

A day on the slopes can cause as much injury as a day at the beach.

Snow and Glare

It is well known that during the winter precipitation coats the surfaces of snow, water and ice. This makes the surfaces shiny which can easily impair your vision leading to accidents while driving, skiing or snowmobiling.

This glare is called "snow blindness". 

It is hard to see through bright light.

Man, that stuff can be tough on our eyes!

To combat this problem a good pair of polarized sunglasses with a back lens antireflective coating are the best solution.

Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

Did you know that these UV rays from the sun can potentially damage your eyes and accelerate the development of cataracts and macular degeneration?

If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter the prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause your eyes to age prematurely.

A good pair of sunglasses will also prevent UV rays from reaching the skin around your eyes with prevents wrinkles (yes, women pay attention!).

Sunglasses Reduce Eyestrain & Headaches in the Winter

Your pupils control the amount of light that reaches the retina in your eye. In dim light the pupils widen to allow more light to enter the eye, and, conversely, your pupils will shrink when light is too bright to protect the retina.

During winter, when light is often far too bright much of the time, your pupils will strain through out the day to reduce the light entering your eyes which in turn causes muscle fatigue and eye strain.

Over exerted pupil muscles can leave you crippled by painful headaches throughout the winter.

Recommendations:

Definetly wear sunglasses at all times outdoors in the winter.

It doesn't even matter if the skies are cloudy, those nasty UV rays will find you and your eyes.

Remember, Ultraviolet Radiation Can Damage Your Eyes!

The good news is we have a great selection of sunglasses here on our website like Randolph Engineering, AO Eyewear and Serengeti sunglasses.

Any of these are an excellent choice to protect your eyes in the winter.

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