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Winter UV Exposure and Your Eyes

Winter is officially here, which means in some places biting winds and freezing rains and sometimes snow are also on the horizon. Most of us would never even contemplate of leaving the house without a jacket in icy conditions, however unfortunately, far too many people leave their sunglasses at home. Although the sun may not be our primary concern during times that we are venturing out to the frigid winter climate, the sun is still shining down during the winter months, and sometimes can be even more powerful.

They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. Especially in the aftermath of a serious snow fall, the world around takes on a glistening glimmer due to the sun's rays reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the earth. In fact, in many cases it can hurt to open your eyes when you first step outside following a fresh snowfall. The ultraviolet sunlight that most of us are so vigilant about during the summertime can actually be more dangerous in the colder season due to the fact that it bounces off the snow or ice, resulting in a second exposure. This is the reason a sturdy pair of sunglasses is a necessary winter accessory.

Even though it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is being certain they provide adequate protection against UV. Be sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by checking for confirmation that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to purchase designer glasses to guarantee complete coverage for your eyes. Many of the more inexpensive options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important consideration in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You will have the most protection when the lenses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to penetrate. Wrap around frames will also stop radiation from entering through the sides.

Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are critical to wear on the water because the water intensifies the sun's rays, this also applies to wintery water as well. Therefore it is equally critical to wear sunglasses when out in wintery conditions. Also ultraviolet exposure is more forceful at greater elevations such as mountain ski slopes.

Be knowledgeable about the dangers of UV damage to your eyes all year long. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.