Sunglasses are not just for summer! If you spend a considerable amount of time driving, participating in snow sports, or doing any other kind of outdoor winter activities, you need protection from the sun more than ever.
Wearing sunglasses has, fortunately, become a popular trend in our culture thanks to the many celebrities who have taken to sporting them year round. Their reasons for wearing them may be more for looks and camouflage from the paparazzi than for function, but the principle of using sunglasses even in the winter is a sound one.
Quality sunglasses keep harmful UV rays from harming your eyes. Not all sunglasses offer this feature: you should be especially wary of street vendors who sell cheap or pricey eyewear, but with no guarantee of UV protection. Although the sun is weaker in the winter, it reflects off snow lying on the ground, making its glare especially harsh and harmful. Wearing good UV sunglasses will greatly decrease your chances of suffering eye damage from this hazard.
Cataracts in the eyes can develop in adults over time due to sun exposure, as can photokeratitis. Both of these conditions are extremely painful and can lead to chronic health problems that could have easily been avoided with a little more care and a little bit of prevention.
High performance athletes who spend a considerable amount of time on the ski and snowboarding slopes are at risk of suffering a condition called “snow blindness.” This is a literal sun burning of the eye’s cornea. Every thousand feet above sea level, the intensity of UV rays increases by 4%. You should not take the effects of the sun lightly, even in apres ski settings. You should wear UV protected goggles when engaged in sports, but don’t forget the UV sunglasses when you’re walking around afterwards.
Have you ever seen a skier with a bad case of sunburn? It happens before you know it: just as not wearing sun block creams in the winter may cause skin cancer, not wearing appropriate eye wear may cause eye cancer. Not all eye tumors are cancerous, of course, but these growths are quite painful and require surgery to remove them.
The question is: why make yourself vulnerable to these hazards in the winter when you wouldn’t dream of not wearing sunglasses in the summer? Quality sunglasses don’t have to be ugly to work well, of course. There are many designs and styles to choose from, whether you are a ski bunny or not. The best choice of eyewear combines high end fashion and styling with the very best in quality eye protection.