5 Reasons to Wear Sunglasses in Winter

Did you know that protecting your eyes from the sun's UV rays can affect your long-term eye health? An easy habit you can adopt to protect your healthy vision is to wear sunglasses whenever you go outside.

There is a lot of research that supports wearing sunglasses every day to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays. Years of UV exposure can contribute to conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration that cause low vision and can even contribute to cancer in or around the eye. 

Below are 5 reasons to wear your sunglasses in the winter — and every day, all year round. 

1. Cut the glare

Although it's not hot outside, it sure is bright! Have you noticed that the glare of the sun seems more irritating to your eyes in the winter? Some refer to winter - when the sun sits lower in the sky than it does in summer - as the "sunshine season". 

Because of the sun's relative position to the Earth during winter, the sun's rays strike the Earth at a lower angle, causing increased glare. In many cases, the glare of the sun can be blinding and very dangerous when driving in the early morning or late afternoon. It can also cause accidents on the ski slopes, with the sun reflecting off the snow and reducing visibility. 

In radiant situations, a pair of polarized sunglasses will greatly increase your ability to see clearly despite the sun's glare so you can get around safely.

2. Protect eyes from UV rays

Although the sun's rays are not as strong in winter, the harmful UV rays are still there. Time always tells the cumulative damage that UV exposure can do to your eyes over a lifetime. 

In winter, the leaves have fallen from the trees, so there isn't as much shade to protect you from the sun's rays. And because of the lower angle of the sun, your eyes are more directly exposed to the sun during the winter than in the summer. 

A pair of high-quality sunglasses that completely block 100% of the sun's UV-A and UV-B rays are a must when spending time outside in the winter!

3. Protect yourself from wind, dust and "rubbish"

Winter winds carry dust with them and strain your eyes. Dry winter air drives moisture out of your eyes, but sunglasses provide a protective barrier against the dry wind. Contact lens wearers may be especially grateful for a good pair of wrap-around sunglasses that prevent winter winds from drying out their eyes while the lenses are in.

Sunglasses are the first line of defense against dust and other airborne particles that can enter your eyes and cause irritation or even painful corneal abrasions. 

4. Avoid snow blindness (photokeratitis)

When you're outside during the winter, icy surfaces like snow and ice act like mirrors, reflecting up to 85% of the sun's harmful rays up off the surface and into your eyes. After a long day outside playing in the snow, skiing or ice skating without sunglasses, this extremely intense level of UV exposure can cause temporary snow blindness. 

Snow blindness - called photokeratitis - occurs when the eyes are overexposed to UV rays and burn from the sun. The cornea is swollen, and it hurts! The short-term condition usually lasts about a week. It can be treated with cold compresses, artificial tears, and over-the-counter pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 

However, in the long term, bouts of snow blindness increase the cumulative damage of the sun's rays. This can lead to more serious eye conditions such as cataracts, which are accelerated by lifelong sun exposure. 

Preventing sun exposure for your eyes is simple: Wear high-quality sunglasses that block UV rays. 

5. Improve winter visual acuity

Intense winter glare from the sun's rays bouncing off snow, concrete, the hood of a car, or any other horizontal surface can cause headaches, eye strain, and reduced visual acuity. Your eyes need just the right amount of light to function at their best. When there isn't enough light to see well - you know it. And, when there's too much light to see well - you know it. Too much light causes strabismus because your pupil can't constrict enough to block out the excess light. 

Sunglasses can help you find that sweet spot with just the right amount of light during the winter "sunning season" to increase your visual comfort. Sunglasses can help you get around more safely in vehicles, bicycles, skiing or while enjoying sports activities. They protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them from UV rays, and let's face it – they look great and upgrade your style! 

If you're ready for a new pair of health-enhancing sunglasses that you'll wear 365 days a year, check out our wide selection of sunglasses from Exposure Sunglasses . We'll help you find a high-quality pair of UV-blocking sunglasses that look great on your unique face shape.

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