Written by: Alex Martins-Hesp, Published: 25 January 2021
There is no surprise that the sale of sunglasses soars in the run-up to summer, and why wouldn't it? Not only is it the cherry on top to our holiday outfits but good quality sunglasses will bring amazing protection from the beaming sunlight of the summer sun. Plus it helps avoid the wrinkles from squinting our eyes all the time.
But does that mean the importance of sunglasses goes unnoticed come winter? You might have the essential winter coat, gloves, and wellies ready in your shopping basket, but here are some reasons why you should be adding sunglasses to that winter shopping list too.
The danger of the winter sun
You may think UV rays are something you only need to worry about in the summer months, but actually, UV rays are intensified during winter. The sun sits lower in the sky and at a different angle which can expose us to more ultraviolet rays and glare.
There is also a higher risk of double exposure during the cold seasons. Due to weather conditions such as snow, rain, and ice, the surroundings become more reflective. The sunlight will then be able to bounce off of the surface towards our eyes.
So if the sun is shining with rain, snow or ice on the ground, be sure to wear your sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from the glare.
Help prevent eye diseases
Decent quality sunglasses with UV protection not only gives you that chic look, but it can also ward off certain eye diseases. When your eyes have had too much exposure to the sun, it can increase the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, pinguecula and pterygia developing.
According to the World Health Organization, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. It is believed that many cases occur due to individuals having too much exposure to UVB a.k.a Ultraviolet B.
Macular degeneration can also occur after too much unprotected sun exposure, along with pinguecula and pterygia. Thankfully, simply wearing UV protective sunglasses can help reduce the risk of these eye diseases developing. So even in the cold weather, be sure to have them in hand.
Protection from dry eyes
The cold seasons and windy weather can be prime time for dry eyes. Sunglasses are able to offer protection for our eyes and shield them from the harsh winds. Symptoms of dry eyes include:
These irritating symptoms caused by cold weather can be avoided with the protection of sunglasses. You can even purchase moisture chamber glasses which have a gasket that rests comfortably around your eyes. This offers more protection from the elements as it creates a seal around your eyes that insulates them from the wind, dust and pollen, and even air conditioning.
Snowblindness on the slopes
Snow can reflect more than 80% of the UV rays that fall upon it. When you're looking at the snow for a long duration without protection, it can burn your cornea, resulting in your eyes feeling discomfort and even a temporary loss of vision. People participating in winter sports and activities are more prone to developing snowblindness as being on/near snow or ice increases the amount of UV radiation you receive. Many winter sports activities usually take place at high altitudes, where the sun's UV rays are stronger. With these factors combined, reflective surfaces and high altitudes double your risk of getting sunburned eyes.
Sunglasses and goggles offer considerable protection from snowblindness, providing they have UV protection embedded in the lens.