We know that the colder months are usually not associated with wearing sunglasses. Beaches, road trips and extensive outdoor activities are probably not really on your mind in winter. BUT having a reliable pair of sunglasses is super beneficial for various reasons as your eyes are still susceptible to damage during the colder season.
For example, snow on the ground can reflect light back into your eyes and cause glare, eye strain, impaired vision, and other unpleasant issues. And not to forget that the UV rays are still out there, even if we see them less often than in summer.
But let's start from the beginning:
1. Sunglasses reduce glare
Have you experienced a glare moment yet? When we talk about glare, we usually mean sunlight that obstructs the windshield (or general view) during the sunrise or sunset hours, making it difficult to see what’s in front of you—even a few seconds after you’ve been exposed to the intense light. This phenomenon is usually worse during fall and winter when the sun is lower in the horizon. The light hits the earth and reflects at a lower (and brighter) angle so that snow, rearview mirrors and traffic lights produce bright reflections. Sounds familiar? Don't let the glare impair your ability to see while driving (or being outside in general). Sunglasses can reduce glare significantly and you can enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland.
2. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays
Often people believe that it's not necessary to wear sunglasses in winter, but it's probably no surprise that UVA and UVB rays are still out there and don't care about winter. If you don't protect your eyes and experience prolonged exposure to UV rays, it can certainly increase your chances of eye problems. We don't want to scare you at this point, but here is a list of a few conditions that one could develop in the long-term:
- Corneal sunburn: short-term yet intense exposure to UVB rays that can cause temporary vision loss (snow blindness)
- Cataracts: a clouding of the eye's natural lens
- Skin cancer: can occur around the eyelids
- Macular Degeneration: a leading cause of vision loss for especially older people
Less harmful, but equally annoying is the fact, that sun exposure also causes wrinkles. Wearing sunglasses can prevent that! It protects you not only from the harmful UV rays but also the delicate skin around your eyes from wrinkling.
3. Sunglasses keep out wind, dust, and debris
Stepping outside on cold and windy days can be unpleasant, especially when the cold air hits your eyes and causes those additional reactionary tears to emerge. The tear film at the front of your eye evaporates quickly in the sharp wind, leaving your eyes uncomfortably dry. Wearing sunglasses can prevent that and they can also keep contact lenses from drying out in the wind. While speaking of the wind - it can cause additional irritation to your eyes by blowing dust and small particles in your face and eventually harming or scratching your eyes. You get it now, right? Sunglasses in winter are bloody amazing!
4. Sunglasses reduce eye strain and headaches
You probably know how our pupils work: in bright light they constrict while they dilate in dim lighting. So thinking of the extremely bright winter sun or snow makes us already squint! This is because our pupils can’t adjust to a comfortable brightness level and cause eye strain or even headaches. Why would we do that to ourselves? Reduce the amount of bright light hitting your eyes by wearing sunglasses and protect your vision at all times!
So many good reasons why sunglasses are needed in the winter months, too! Stay safe, protect your eyes and vision and also look good!