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You Need to Wear Shades in the Wintertime too!

Winter has officially arrived, which means in some areas biting winds and frigid rains and sometimes snow are also on their way. You wouldn't ever conceive of leaving the house without a coat in freezing conditions, but unfortunately, far too many people don't think to wear sunglasses. Although many of us don't think about the shining sun during times that we are bundling up against the frigid cold, the sun's rays are still in full force in colder climates, and in certain circumstances can be even stronger.

They didn't write a song called "winter wonderland" for nothing. In particular in the aftermath of a snow storm, the world around takes on a sparkling glimmer thanks to the sun's rays reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, it can hurt to open your eyes when you first step outdoors after a fresh snowfall. The UV radiation that we are all so careful in avoiding during the heat of the summer may really be more hazardous in the colder season due to the fact that it reflects off the snow or ice, giving you a double dose of exposure. This is why a good pair of sunglasses is a crucial winter accessory.

Even though you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they will properly protect your eyes. Check that your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV light by looking for an indication 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 adequate coverage from UV rays. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide full ultraviolet defense.

A further important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You will have the most protection when the lenses are large enough to totally guard your eyes and if possible the surrounding areas. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Glasses with side shield will also stop harmful rays from sneaking in from the periphery.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, it’s important to know that the sun's rays are stronger at higher altitudes, so it's wise to be especially sure to keep your eyes guarded on the ski slope. Another way to add extra protection is wear a protective hat with a wide brim or visor.

This winter, stay warm and keep your eyes safe! Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.