The sunny days of summer are behind us, and that means many people have already stashed their favorite pairs of sunglasses away for the season. We tend to get the most use out of our sunglasses during the spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come in handy throughout the rest of the year.
In fact, it’s a good idea to keep a pair of sunglasses close at hand during the winter as well.
It can be easy to think of winter as one uninterrupted streak of cloudy days, but sunny winter days are actually quite common. Furthermore, snow can generate intense glare which makes sunlight even brighter. According to a recent blog entry in The New York Times, snow reflects nearly 80 percent of the sun’s rays.
If you live in a region that’s prone to seasonal snowfall, you’ve probably experienced this phenomenon first hand. You’re outside for just a few minutes on a sunny day, and by the time you step inside you’ve been effectively blinded by the harsh glare reflected off the snow. Your eyes will initially recover from this “snow blindness” fairly quickly, but repeated exposure can cause a painful condition called photokeratitis. This condition, which we’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, is essentially a sunburn of the eye. Over time, unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays can also contribute to other health issues such as cataracts and eyelid cancer.
With winter fast approaching, let’s make a commitment to protecting our eyes on those bright, snowy days. All it takes is a good pair of sunglasses.