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The Danger of UV to your Eyes – In the Winter

Winter is officially here, which means in some locations whipping winds and freezing rains and sometimes snow aren't far behind. You wouldn't ever think of leaving the house without a heavy sweater or coat in overcast conditions, nevertheless unfortunately, far too many people don't think to take their sunglasses. While many of us don't think about the glaring sun when we are bundling up against the frigid winter climate, the sun is still a present danger in colder climates, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.

They didn't write a song called "winter wonderland" for no reason. Especially following a blizzard, the world around takes on a sparkling glow due to the sunlight reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the earth. In fact, in many cases it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outdoors after a fresh snow. The ultraviolet radiation that many people are so careful in protecting ourselves against in the summertime can in reality be more dangerous in the wintertime due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in a second exposure. This is why sunglasses are a necessary part of your winter wardrobe.

While it's important to look great in your shades, the most important consideration when selecting sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make certain your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by checking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is proper sun protection isn't necessarily expensive. Dozens of inexpensive brands are made with total UV coverage.

A further important feature in choosing sun wear is size. You will have the most protection when the lenses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. 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 stop harmful rays from sneaking in through the periphery.

Although it's much more commonly known these days that sunglasses are critical beach gear since the water reflects ultraviolet radiation, this also applies to frozen water sources including ice and snow. Consquently it is equally important to wear sunglasses during times when you go out in wintery conditions. Also ultraviolet radiation is stronger at high altitudes so if you have plans to hit the slopes take this into consideration.

Make a point to be knowledgable about adequate eye protection throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.