It's official! Winter is here, which means in some areas biting winds and cold rain, snow and sleet are also in the forecast. The majority of us wouldn't ever contemplate of leaving the house without a jacket in freezing conditions, however surprisingly, far too many people don't think to put on their sunglasses. Although the sun may not be our first concern when we are venturing out to the freezing cold, the sun is still shining down in colder climates, and in many instances can be even stronger.
If you find yourself snowed in, you should be even more careful. Particularly following a blizzard, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually intensifies the reflection of the sunlight. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outdoors after a glistening snow. The ultraviolet radiation that most people are so vigilant about during the summer months can actually be more dangerous in the winter due to the fact that it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a second exposure. This is why a good pair of sunglasses is an essential part of your winter attire.
Although you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure they are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to purchase designer glasses to guarantee complete protection from the sun. Many of the more affordable options exist that still provide total UV protection.
A further important consideration in picking the right sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure the lenses totally shield your eyes and the surrounding areas. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to enter. Glasses with side shield will also keep radiation from sneaking in through the periphery.
Although it's much more commonly known these days that sunglasses are essential to wear at the beach because the water intensifies ultraviolet rays, this is also true for wintery water as well. Therefore it is equally important to wear sunglasses during times when you go out in wintery conditions. Further UV exposure is more powerful at high elevations, so if you are skiing or snowboarding, take this into consideration.
This wintertime, keep warm and keep your eyes safe! Don't leave home without your shades.