If you’re a fan of the winter Olympics, you’ve likely noticed how participants and fans alike wear sunglasses during the entire series of outdoor events. They’re not doing it to make a cold-weather fashion statement either- even during winter, UV rays can damage your eyes after too much exposure, and snow blindness is a very real risk, even if you’re nowhere near a huge and expansive ski run. 

At UOptical, we sell designer sunglasses that can protect your vision while complementing your style. Below are some examples of how they can help keep your vision healthy when you venture outside this winter.

Sunglasses Can Protect Against UV Exposure

While cold can diminish the sun’s heat, it does not reduce its glare or potential damage to the eyes. Winter sun may actually be more harmful to our eyes than summer sun since it is lower in the sky and at a different angle, exposing us to more UV rays and glare. 

According to the World Health Organization, snow reflects nearly 80% of the sun’s harmful rays. When you consider that dry beach sand only reflects about 15% and seafoam approximately 25%, sunglasses are more critical in the dead of winter than the height of summer.

Snow Blindness is a Common Winter Danger

Yes, you really can get sunburned in winter. Snow blindness, also known as photokeratitis, is similar to a corneal sunburn. It can occur when your unprotected eyes are exposed to sunlight reflecting off of snow and ice, especially at higher elevations (e.g. ski runs) where the air tends to be thinner. It may also occur when your corneal surface freezes after spending too much time in cold temperatures. To prevent snow blindness, wear eye protection, especially when participating in winter sports.

Protect Your Eyes From Snow Glare

Glare is another cause of snow blindness, caused by horizontal light waves reflecting off of surfaces and striking your eyes at an angle. Polarized lenses are the best solution for reducing glare, but make sure that they also have 100% UV protection to keep your eyes safe.

Manage Dry Eye With Sunglasses

Cold winds outdoors and dry heat indoors cause moisture to evaporate too quickly in our eyes. When this happens, our tear glands cannot keep up. Snow blindness may also result from severe drying of the corneal surface, so stay safe by using drops to ease dry eye discomfort and wearing wraparound sunglasses that shield your eyes from harsh winds.

Keep Your Vision Healthier This Winter With Sunglasses

When putting on that extra fleece, scarf, and pair of mittens, don’t forget to grab something to cover your eyes as well. Wear sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses, UV protection, and polarization, especially when participating in winter sports. At UOptical, we carry attractive and highly functional sunglasses from different designer brands, so you’re sure to find a pair that you love. To check out our stock, please visit our Vaughan or Scarborough locations, call (416) 292-0075 or contact us online.