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Protecting Your Eyes Against The Winter Sun

Winter is officially here, which means in some areas whipping winds and frigid rains and sometimes snow are also on their way. Most of us wouldn't ever contemplate of leaving the house without a jacket in cooler climates, however surprisingly, far too many people don't think to put on their sunglasses. While many of us don't think about the shining sunshine during times that we are battling the bitter winter climate, the sun's rays are still a present danger in colder climates, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.

They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. Particularly in the aftermath of a blizzard, the blanket of snow covering the ground, trees and everything else in sight, actually magnifies the reflection of the sunlight. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first step outside following a glistening snow. The UV radiation that many people are so vigilant to avoid in the summertime can really be more hazardous in the winter since it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in double exposure. This is the reason a good pair of sunglasses is an essential winter accessory.

Even though it's important to feel great in your shades, the most important consideration when deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is being certain they will properly do their job. Make sure 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, proper protection for your eyes doesn't mean you have to buy the most expensive pair. Dozens of reasonably priced brands are made with total defense.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is lens size. You want to make sure the lenses are large enough to totally cover your eyes and the areas around them as well. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful radiation will be able to enter. Glasses with side shield will also keep harmful rays from entering through the sides.

For the skiers or snowboarders out there, it’s important to be aware that UV rays are more powerful at peak heights, so you need to be even more careful to keep your eyes shaded on the hills. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to add on a protective hat with a wide brim or visor.

Be informed about adequate eye protection all year round. Don't leave home without your sunglasses.