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Winter Has Arrived! Don’t Leave Home Without Your Sunglasses

It's official! Winter is here, which means in some locations biting winds and frigid rains and sometimes snow aren't far behind. Most of us wouldn't ever think of leaving the house without a jacket in cooler weather, but surprisingly, a lot of people leave their sunglasses at home. While many of us aren't thinking about the glaring sunshine during times that we are bundling up against the bitter winter climate, the sun is still in full force during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.

For times when you frequent a location with snow, you should be extra careful. In particular following a snow storm, the world around takes on a sparkling glow due to the sunlight reflecting off of the water molecules blanketing the earth. In fact, for many it can downright hurt your eyes when you first leave the house following a glistening snowfall. The ultraviolet sunlight that we are all so vigilant to avoid in the summer months may actually be more hazardous in the winter because it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a double dose of exposure. This is the reason a good pair of sunglasses is a crucial winter accessory.

Even though it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of selecting sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make certain your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV light by checking for confirmation 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.) The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for complete protection for your eyes. Many of the more affordable brands are made with total coverage.

Another important consideration in picking the right sun wear is the size of the lenses. You will have the most protection when your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The larger the surface area covered by your sunglasses, the less harmful UV rays will be able to get past your sunglasses. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent harmful rays from sneaking in through the sides.

For those who enjoy snow or ice sports, you should be aware that ultraviolet radiation is stronger at higher altitudes, so be especially careful to keep your eyes covered on the hills. For added protection wear a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Be informed about suitable eye protection throughout the year. Don't leave home without your sunglasses.