Most people associate sunglasses with warm weather, sitting out at the beach, and other summer outdoor activities. While sunglasses are important for preventing UV damage to your eyes, most people mistakenly skip out on wearing their favorite shades during the snowy winter months. See below for our four reasons why it may be a big mistake to avoid wearing sunglasses during the winter.
Four Reasons To Wear Sunglasses During The Winter
- UltraViolet Rays are just as damaging during the winter as they are in the summer: It’s not common to associate winter weather and damage from UV rays, yet damage from the sun can occur just as easily as it would during the summer (provided proper exposure). Many skiers and snowboarders will be the first to tell you about their “goggle tan” that comes from UltraViolet light giving them a tan, or possibly a sunburn on the exposed areas of skin surrounding their ski goggles. That same light can cause damage to the eyes, which has been associated with macular degeneration and the progression of age related eye disease.
- Sunlight reflected off snow may create greater glare than any light during the summer: While the summer sun is typically a little bit brighter than the winter sun on a clear day, the issue of light reflecting off the snow never comes up when it’s warm outside. Snow not only makes travel perilous, it also makes sunny weather more hazardous for drivers as there is an increased level of glare due to reflected sunlight from fresh snow.
- Sunglasses can help prevent dry-eye symptoms associated with winter weather: If you’ve ever suffered from dry-eye syndrome, you likely know how miserable constantly dry eyes can be. While some suffer from chronic dry-eye, others associate it with seasonality, and winter is typically the worst time of the year for irritated red eyes. Luckily, sunglasses can help combat winter dry-eye by preventing wind or moving air from carrying away moisture in the eyes, which is especially relevant since winter air contains significantly less moisture than warm summer air. Wearing sunglasses is especially relevant for those who do a considerable amount of walking outdoors, and also will help prevent UV light from damaging the eyes. If you suffer from dry-eye, consider purchasing wrap style sunglasses such as the Ray Ban Predators, as they are much better at blocking wind and dust from reaching the eyes.
- Sunglasses aren’t just summer fashion accessories: While not directly related to your visual health, looking good never hurts one’s self-confidence, and a quality pair of shades will still help you keep your cool, even if you’re already freezing cold. Sunglasses have been fashion staples since the 1930’s, and there is no reason why they cold weather should stop them from being a go-to accessory when heading out shopping, driving to work, or spending a day out sledding.
Overall, sunglasses are practical any time of the year, and especially for those who make the daily 9-5 commute, keeping a pair in your car is highly recommended for both comfort and safety. Purchasing sunglasses during the winter may also offer significant savings, as items that are purchased out of season are typically less expensive than when purchased in-season. When shopping for sunglasses, make sure to look for sunglasses that use polarized lenses, as this guarantees full protection from damaging UltraViolet light.