Why Wear Sunglasses in Winter?

Just because it’s cold outside it doesn’t mean you don’t need sunglasses. If there’s sun, there’s UV rays. And they’re even more potent on snow…

Preparing for the winter months is something that we are all familiar with; switching-up wardrobes to reflect the season, altering our diet to brace ourselves against the cold, dusting off our collection of knitwear to protect various body-parts, but what about our eyes?
In the summer, we all know that protecting our eyes from the glare of the sun is really important, but few realise that this still applies during the winter too.
Although the sun can be elusive as the poor weather sets in and the days shorten, the sun itself is at a different angle and is lower in the sky than during the summer. This can result in more exposure to harmful UV rays.

How sunglasses protect your eyes in winter

  • Protect against brightness
  • Reflect UV rays
  • Protect you from winter wind
  • Allow you to see better in bright conditions

By wearing sunglasses all year round, you can prevent damage to your eyelids and, more specifically, the skin around your eyes. Sunglasses can reduce the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines, scaly red patches, brown spots and tough leathery skin.
On a larger scale, UV rays have been known to be a factor in eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and when coming into contact with your eyelids can also lead to skin cancer. Sunglasses shield this delicate area of your face and help to prevent this damage.
Another important factor during winter months which can impact the health of our eyes is snow.

Snow reflects up to 85% of the sun’s UV rays back into our eyes.

This can cause sunburn on the cornea, which is sometimes referred to as “snow blindness”. So, if you are planning to hit the ski slopes this season, make sure you definitely pack your sunnies.

UV radiation increases 5% for every 1,000 feet you go above sea level.

Dry eyes are also more common during the coldest calendar months due to weather conditions such as wind, snow and ice. If you wear sunglasses, it decreases the evaporation of moisture from the surface of your eye, which means your eyes will feel less irritated and will not be as red.
Sunglasses will also stop you squinting against the reflection of the sun off ice and snow, which minimizes the risk of wrinkles across your whole face.
If you are looking for some seasonal shades, choose a pair that blocks 100% of UVA and UVB light to maximise your protection. Large polarized lenses will give you better vision, protect your eyes and also the delicate skin surrounding them.
For those who are looking to stay on-trend this winter, statement sunglasses are in. Whether you rock the cat-eye shape, adore futuristic chromes, or embrace the fun of a block frame, this season feel free to make an impact not only by wearing shades in the winter but by styling them out and going bold.
Wearing sunglasses for outdoor winter sports is highly recommended, and choosing a pair that fit closely to your face will give you the best all-over protection.
Make sure they are comfortable to wear, with no pinching to your skin, and that the weight is distributed evenly across your ears and nose, especially if you are planning to wear them for long periods of time.
Discover more information on snow sports eyewear.

Snow Goggles vs. Sunglasses

Benefits of Snow Goggles

Snow goggles are made up of one large lens, known as a shield. This provides 100% protection from UV rays no matter how much you move your head. Snow goggles have the benefit of creating a seal against the skin that keeps your face warm and protects it from the elements — especially when skiing and snowboarding.

Benefits of Sunglasses in Winter

Sunglasses are more subtle and offer a range of styles, so you can wear them both on and off the slopes. They are also lightweight and don’t fog up as easily as snow goggles. Sunglasses on the other hand, can let in some UV rays. They are also less secure than the goggles, because snow goggles are secured with a strap.

Winter Sunglasses and Goggle Tints

For snow sports in particular, brown tinted lenses are best as they enhance contrast, as do amber or yellow tinted lenses. These are also best to wear for driving in. Grey lenses are good for reducing light intensity without affecting the contrast or distorting colour.
Light conditions can change dependent on weather as well as time of day. Because of this, it is a good idea to choose a pair of snow goggles that offer interchangeable lenses.
Having the flexibility to change the colour of lens will allow you to change lenses based on different visual needs and light conditions. This will enable you to have the best visual experience possible when performing your activity.
At Eyesite, we have the widest range of both sunglasses and snow goggles. Visit your nearest Eyesite practice and pick up your winter eye wear today.