It's official! Winter is here, which means in some locations biting winds and freezing precipitation aren't far behind. You wouldn't ever contemplate of leaving the house without a heavy sweater or coat in icy climates, but unfortunately, many people leave their sunglasses at home. While the sun isn't always our primary consideration when we are bundling up against the freezing winter climate, the sun is still in full force in colder climates, and in many instances can be even stronger.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. Particularly after a serious snow, the world around takes on a glistening glow due to the sun's rays reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, in many cases it can downright hurt your eyes when you first leave the house following a fresh snowfall. The UV sunlight that many people are so careful in avoiding during the summer months can actually be more dangerous in the winter months 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 crucial part of your winter attire.
Although it's important to feel great in your sunglasses, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is checking that they provide adequate protection against UV. Make certain the lenses are 100% UV blocking by checking for an indication 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.) Don't worry, you don't necessarily have to pay more to guarantee complete coverage from UV. Dozens of affordable brands are made with complete coverage.
Another important feature in picking the right sun wear is frame size. You want to make sure your glasses completely guard your eyes and if possible the areas around them. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful radiation will be able to get past your sunglasses. Wrap around frames will also keep radiation from sneaking in through the sides.
If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should know that ultraviolet rays are more powerful at peak heights, so be even more careful to keep your eyes guarded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to add on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.
Be in the know about proper eye protection throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.