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It's official! Winter is here, which means in some areas bitter cold winds and freezing rain, snow and sleet aren't far behind. You wouldn't ever contemplate of leaving the house without a coat in freezing weather; nevertheless unfortunately, many people leave their sunglasses at home. Although the sun may not be our first concern when we are venturing out to the bitter winter climate, the sun's rays are still shining down during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.
They didn't write a song called "winter wonderland" for no reason. In particular after a serious snow, the blanket of snow covering the world around you actually magnifies the reflection of the sun. In fact, in many cases it can downright hurt your eyes when you first leave the house following a glistening snow. The UV radiation that we are all so careful to avoid in the summertime can actually be more dangerous in the wintertime because it bounces off the snow or ice, giving you a second exposure. This is the reason a sturdy pair of sunglasses is an essential winter accessory.
Even though you want to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when deciding upon a pair of sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Be sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. Don't worry, proper sun protection isn't necessarily expensive. Dozens of reasonably priced brands are made with total UV defense.
Another important factor in selecting sun wear is frame size. You want to make sure your glasses totally shield your eyes and if possible the surrounding areas. The more coverage you have, the less harmful UV rays will be able to penetrate. Glasses with side shield will also keep radiation from sneaking in through the sides.
Although it's much more commonly known these days that sunglasses are essential to wear at the beach since the water intensifies UV radiation, this also applies to snow and ice. Therefore it is equally critical to wear sunglasses when out skiing, ice skating or even taking a walk on a snowy day. Further ultraviolet radiation is more powerful at high elevations, so if you have plans to hit the slopes take this into consideration.
Be in the know about proper eye protection throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.