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Sunglasses in Winter: Why Eye Doctors Say You Still Need Protection

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Eye doctors say that just because the temperature isn’t scorching hot outside, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to protect your eyes from the sun.

In the winter, the sun sits lower in the sky at a different angle than in the summer months and can actually give you more exposure.

The sun’s UV rays contribute to various eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

That’s why optometrists strongly advocate wearing sunglasses in all four seasons especially during winter to help prevent such damages.

Read on to know more!

Effects of Sun and Snow Overexposure

The skin around your eyes is very thin and delicate and easily affected by UV rays, too. Sun exposure causes premature wrinkles, fine lines, leathery skin, and brown spots around the eyes.

Snow reflects up to 85 percent of the sun’s UV rays and its reflection causes sunburn on the cornea known as “sun blindness”. When you are skiing or at higher elevation outdoors, the risk is even greater. 

At 5,000 feet, you will be exposed to 20 percent more radiation from the sun.

3 Reasons Why Eye Doctors Advise Using Sunglasses Even in Winter

  1. Since it is difficult to apply sunscreen and can irritate the delicate area around the eyes, sunglasses are needed.

Sunscreen products are made of different chemicals that can hurt the eyes while protecting the skin. Wearing a protective sun and snow eye wear is a more viable option that you can use for your eye protection.

  1. Wearing shades during the cold months lessens the symptoms of dry eyes.

Sunglasses protect the eyes from blowing wind and snow, as well as ice itself. They decrease the risk of evaporation of the tears on the corneal surface. Once there are not enough tears to lubricate the frontal part of the eye surface, eye movement can be challenged which leads to scarring and other issues resulting in dryness.

  1. Sunglasses are essential in shielding the skin from the sun’s damaging rays, as well as premature aging.

Squinting when outdoors causes fine lines,especially around the eye and on the area of the forehead. Additionally, with the skin around the eyes being left unprotected from sun damage,premature aging is not far behind.Wearing sun protection will leave the eyes feeling less irritated and red.

Important reminders:

When shopping for sunglasses, look for frames that can block 100 percent of UVA and UVB light and are large enough to completely protect your eyes and the surrounding delicate skin.

The most important way to protect your eyes is to take care of them by having a full comprehensive eye exam once per year.

Besides looking for your protective eye wear,finding an optometrist who can provide you with a full comprehensive and accurate eye exam is a must.

A great eye doctor will be able to provide you with a full explanation the findings of your eye exam and prescribe recommendations for how to manage your ongoing eye health.

Remember you can protect your eyes and still look stylish while doing it but!

Author Bio:

Dr. Swatch is a certified eye doctor at Trillium Eye Care at Port Credit, Mississauga and loves writing during her free time. She often writes about eye health and the risks of developing eye problems aside from working to end the miseries that eye diseases bring.


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