It's official! Winter is here, which means in some places bitter cold winds and freezing rains and sometimes snow are also on the horizon. Most of us wouldn't ever think of leaving the house without a jacket in cooler weather, but surprisingly, many people leave their sunglasses at home. Although the sun may not be our first consideration when we are battling the bitter cold, the sun's rays are still shining down during the winter months, and in many instances can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. In particular following a heavy snow, the world around takes on a glistening glimmer as a result of the sun's rays reflecting off of the water molecules blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, without sunglasses it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outside after a fresh snowfall. The ultraviolet sunlight that many of us are so vigilant about during the summertime can actually be more dangerous during the colder season due to the fact that it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a double dose of exposure. This is the reason good sunglasses are a necessary part of your winter attire.
Even though it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when selecting sunglasses is checking that they provide adequate protection against UV. Ensure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV light by looking for confirmation 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 to guarantee complete protection from the sun. Dozens of inexpensive brands are made with full UV defense.
Another important feature in selecting sun wear is lens size. You will have the most protection when the lenses are large enough to completely guard your eyes and if possible the areas around them. 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 keep harmful rays from entering through the sides.
If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should know that ultraviolet radiation is more powerful at peak heights, so you need to be even more careful to guard yourself on the slopes. For additional protection, put on a protective hat with a wide brim or visor.
This wintertime, stay warm and stay protected! Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.