Don't hang up those sunglasses just yet. Just because the beach days are over doesn’t mean that you no longer need to protect your eyes. For many people when winter begins they never think about wearing sunglasses. But in reality wearing eye protection during the winter is just as important as wearing them during the summer. The harmful UV rays don’t go away when summer does, the glare from the sun doesn’t just stop, and the desire to remain in style is still there.
In fact, the beautiful ice crystals and snowy winter scapes create prisms that actually reflect the sun’s UV rays. And it can magnify them as well which puts your eyes at an increased risk of direct exposure. Adding a pair of oversized sunglasses along with your scarf will complete any outfit.
Winter glasses are not just an accessory, they are necessary to protect your eyes from the environmental dangers that you are faced with daily. And if you are active with the many fun winter activities it’s even more important to protect your eyes.
Let’s go over some of these reasons why you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing sunglasses.
Why sunglasses are important in the winter?
As we’ve mentioned there are plenty of reasons why wearing sunglasses is important during the winter. The winter time is filled with a ton of fun activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating. You'll want to be sure that you’re protecting your eyes.
Here are just a few of these reasons why you’ll want to protect your eyes,
They will prevent snow blindness
Similar to sunburn on your skin, corneal sunburn happens in your eyes and this is often referred to as, “snow blindness” or photokeratitis resulting in temporary loss of vision. The symptoms can last for a few hours or a couple of days. While the symptoms of snow blindness may only be temporary it is extremely uncomfortable.
Unfortunately you do not know the damage is being done until the symptoms appear and it’s too late. Sunburn from snow is a real thing that can be prevented by wearing sunglasses.
Symptoms of snow blindness often emerge up to eight hours after UV exposure and usually include:
- eye pain,
- a burning or gritty sensation in the eye,
- sensitivity to light,
- blurry vision, and
- seeing halos around light sources.
Prevention is so vital especially if you’re skiing or snowboarding because the snow increases the risk. These activities are at high altitudes and up on the mountain the sun’s UV rays are stronger. And the reflective surface and high altitudes with thin air increases your risk of getting sunburned and suffering from snow blindness.
Reasons to wear glasses during winter
Wearing winter sunglasses helps to protect your eyes from many things and these reasons are similar to the during the rest of the year - protection from the outdoor elements.
If you aren’t wearing sunglasses you’re putting yourself and the health of your eyes at risk. Here are some of the things that you may experience and how sunglasses offer you the protection that you need,
Reduce snow glare
Sun glare doesn’t only happen when on sunny days or for the beach. Snow glare can make a day out on the slopes difficult, dangerous and put you at risk of damaging your eyes. But even driving during the day when there is snow on the ground can put your eyes at risk.
You have little protection from the harmful UV rays and glare when driving. And when that glare comes off the snow it can temporarily impair your vision making driving more difficult. This is why sunglasses for snow glare whether you’re enjoying an outdoor leisure, driving, or hiking you’ll need to properly protect your eyes with the right sunglasses for the activity.
Protect eyes from UV rays
Sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from UV rays even in winter, because no matter the season or the time of the year, protecting your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays is important. UV rays don't have seasons. It is present all year around and in some situations can be increased. When the sun reflects off of the snow or ice it actually increases your risk of damage.
The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses all year around to block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. They also recommend screening out 75% to 90% percent of visible light. Most sunglasses provide 100% UV protection.
Avoid wind, dust, and debris
There’s nothing worse than getting something in your eye. It will stop you in your tracks and potentially scratch your eye causing damage. Snow gets in your eyes, but this is the least of your issues when skiing down the mountain. When you’re skiing down the slopes you’ll definitely want to protect your eyes from wind, dust and debris getting in your eyes and temporarily impairing your vision putting you at risk.
Sunglasses protect your eyes from the bitter winds that can easily get even the smallest particle in your eye. Plus, the cold winter wind will cause dry eyes and impair your vision. Wearing sunglasses provides a layer of protection.
Reduce eye strain and headaches
Your eyes are affected by how much light reaches your retina. When the light changes your pupils will get larger or smaller. This is how your eyes either control how much light gets in. It’s your body’s way of helping you to see in dim light situations and also protecting the retina's bright lights.
But when you’re faced with extremely bright conditions, the pupil isn’t able to constrict as much as it needs to reduce the amount of light to protect the retina which causes you to squint. Squinting is another way that your body attempts to protect the retina. Unfortunately, this constant constriction of the pupil will cause headaches and eyestrain.
Wearing sunglasses will reduce the amount of light that reaches your retina, prevent you from squinting and prevent headaches and eye strain. You’ll improve your comfort and reduce the uncomfortable side effects of eye fatigue. This is by far the best way to protect your eyes from the bright winter lights.
What happens if you don't wear sunglasses in winter?
Of course you don’t have to wear sunglasses, but there are more benefits to wearing them than not. When you don’t wear sunglasses in the winter you are putting yourself at an increased risk of eye strain, headaches, eye fatigue, increased risk of snow blindness, and sun glare. Wearing sunglasses in the winter is just as important as it is to wear them in the summer. The sun's rays are still strong enough to damage your cornea, and other parts of your eye.
Best winter sunglasses
Choosing the right pair of winter sunglasses is easier when you know the purpose for wearing them. Are you wearing them for when you’re driving, or skiing down the slopes?
You want to make sure that they are offering you the correct level of protection for the activity that you are doing, so they can do what they are designed to do.
Sunglasses that wrap around your face will give you increased protection from the sun because it keeps the sun from getting into your eyes from the side. Making sure that they have at least 99% protection from the harmful UV rays is essential for any pair of sunglasses. They need to be strong enough to screen UV rays that lead to many issues.
No matter what type of sun glasses for cold weather you’re searching for snow glare sunglass to keep the glare out, snow blindness glasses to prevent damage to your cornea or glasses for cold weather to keep your eyes from drying out ShadyVEU passes the snow vision test with the best sunglasses to choose from.