It's official! Winter is here, which means in some locations whipping winds and frigid rains and sometimes snow aren't far behind. You wouldn't ever conceive of leaving the house without a coat in freezing conditions, however surprisingly, far too many people don't think to take their sunglasses. While many of us aren't thinking about the shining sunshine when we are battling the bitter cold, the sun's rays are still in full force during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. In particular after a blizzard, the blanket of snow covering the world around you, actually intensifies the reflection of the sun. In fact, for many it can downright hurt your eyes when you first leave the house following a glistening snow. The ultraviolet sunlight that most of us are so vigilant to avoid in the heat of the summer can really be more dangerous during the wintertime because it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a double dose of exposure. This is why a pair of sunglasses is a necessary winter accessory.
Although it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of selecting sunglasses is checking that they provide adequate protection against UV. Be sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays 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 inexpensive brands are made with full defense.
Another important feature in choosing sun wear is lens size. You will have the most protection when the lenses completely shield your eyes and if possible the surrounding areas 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 prevent harmful rays from entering through the sides.
Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are essential beach gear since the water reflects ultraviolet rays, this is also true for snow and ice. Consequently it is equally essential to wear sunglasses when out in the snow. Additionally UV radiation is more powerful at high elevations, so if you have plans to hit the slopes take this into consideration.
Make a point to be in the know about adequate eye protection throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.