Most people understand that they should wear sunglasses in summer when the sun is at its hottest. Many do not realize that you should wear sunglasses even during colder months. The eyes are susceptible to damage even in winter when the temperatures drop.
Snow reflects light, which can lead to glare and eyestrain. Keeping your sunglasses on will protect your eyes and keep them comfortable in harsh weather. Here are some reasons you should wear sunglasses in the winter.
Protection From UV Rays
Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun can harm the skin and the eyes. UV rays can increase the risk of developing eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and photokeratitis (corneal sunburn).
Sun rays can cause skin cancer around the eyelids, and pterygium, a growth on the cornea, can block vision. Sunglasses block harmful UV rays, keeping the eyes safe. They can also help prevent skin wrinkles around the eyes.
Help Reduce Glare
Wearing sunglasses in winter will help reduce glare. Problems with glare are worst during winter when the sun is low on the horizon. The sun reflects at a brighter and lower angle in winter. It can make driving difficult as it obstructs the windshield.
Ice, snow, traffic lights, and rearview mirrors can produce blinding reflections. Glare can make it difficult to see while driving, walking, or skiing. Sunglasses can significantly reduce glare, improving eye comfort.
Protection From Debris, Wind, and Dust
Most people experience dry eyes, allergies, and eye irritation during winter. Cold air can also cause watery eyes. Debris and dust particles in the air can scratch the eyes and cause corneal abrasions.
Quick evaporation of the tear film due to sharp winds can leave the eyes dry and uncomfortable. Sunglasses protect the eyes, reducing evaporation and helping maintain natural moisture. If you wear contacts, sunglasses will help keep your eyes comfortable.
Reducing Headaches and Eyestrain
The eyes react to lighting, with dim or extremely bright lighting affecting pupil constriction and dilation. Eyestrain can occur in environments with inadequate or bright lights as the pupils fail to adjust to a comfortable level.
The retina is sensitive to light, and snow or bright winter sun can affect pupil constriction. Failing to reduce light exposure can cause squinting, leading to eyestrain and headaches. Photochromatic sunglasses can reduce the amount of light reaching the eyes.
Prevent Snow Blindness
Wearing sunglasses in winter can help prevent snow blindness. Snow and ice are highly reflective surfaces that increase UV radiation exposure. You are exposed to intense UV rays if you participate in winter sports or activities, especially at high altitudes.
Exposure can increase the risk of eye sunburn. Snow blindness or photokeratitis is a condition characterized by temporary vision loss. Wear the right sunglasses to reduce the winter glare.
Eye damage can occur at any time of the year. Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes. Choose good quality sunglasses that offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. The sunglasses will block glare, prevent eyestrain, and protect your eyes from debris. You can make eye safety and health a priority this winter.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call Clarke EyeCare Center in Texas at 940-905-0700 for Wichita Falls or 940-569-4131 for Burkburnett.