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The Winter Sun

Winter is officially here, which means in some places biting winds and cold rain, snow and sleet are also on the horizon. The majority of us wouldn't ever contemplate of leaving the house without a heavy sweater or coat in cooler climates; 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 freezing winter climate, the sun's rays are still in full force during the winter months, and in certain circumstances can be even stronger.

If you find yourself snowed in, it is wise to be extra careful. Particularly after a snow storm, the world around takes on a glistening glow due to the sun's rays reflecting off of the snowy cover blanketing the ground and the trees. In fact, it can downright hurt your eyes when you first leave the house after a fresh snowfall. The ultraviolet sunlight that we are all so vigilant in avoiding in the heat of the summer can actually be more dangerous during the winter since it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in double exposure. This is why proper sunglasses are a crucial part of your winter attire.

While it's important to pick a style you look good in, the most important consideration when choosing sunglasses is being certain they provide adequate protection against UV. Check that your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays by checking for an indication that they are labeled UV 400 (this means they block all light with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which includes both UVA and UVB rays.) The good news is proper sun protection isn't necessarily expensive. Many of the more inexpensive options exist that still provide total UV coverage.

Another important feature in selecting sun wear is the size of the frame. You will have the most protection when your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to get past your sunglasses. Wrap around frames will also prevent harmful rays from sneaking in through the periphery.

Just as most people are aware that sunglasses are essential beach gear since the water intensifies ultraviolet radiation, this also applies to wintery water as well. Consequently it is equally essential to wear sunglasses when out in wintery conditions. Additionally UV exposure is stronger at greater heights such as mountain ski slopes.

Be knowledgeable about proper eye protection all year long. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.