Many people regard sunglasses as an indispensable summertime accessory, but did you know sunglasses are at least as important during the winter months? Here in New York, we’re pretty good at remembering to cover our hands with gloves and our heads with hats, but it can be harder to remember that our eyes are also in need of protection when it’s cold. The sun shines with the same force all year round, regardless of how cold it might be.
In fact, since the sun sits at a different angle during the winter months, it actually can expose your eyes to more UVA and UVB rays than it does during the summer. Luckily, you can protect yourself from these UV rays with polarized sunglasses--check out our guide on the benefits of polarized sunglasses and to see a comparison of polarized sunglasses vs non-sunglasses.
In this post, we’ll talk about several reasons you should wear sunglasses in the winter. It’s also important to make sure you take care of your sunglasses, so be sure to check out our guide on how to take care of your sunglasses, how to remove scratches from sunglasses, and how people lose their sunglasses and how to prevent it.
Avoid Corneal Sunburn
When you’re bundled up in your coat and boots, it's likely getting sunburned is just about the last thing you'll think about, but winter rays can actually sunburn and irritate your corneas. This is especially true when there’s snow on the ground, because UV radiation bounces off the snow and back up into your eyes.
If you like to snowboard or ski during the winter, you should definitely wear sunglasses on the slopes, but even if you’re just walking around the city, you can prevent corneal sunburn by wearing your shades. Snow reflects up to 85 percent of UV rays, causing what's commonly known as “snow blindness.” Although temporary, snow blindness can be painful and very inconvenient while your eyes heal from the sunburn.
Prevent Dry Eyes
Cold and windy winter conditions also cause our skin, lips, and even our eyes to dry out. Wind causes the tears on the surface of the eyes to evaporate more quickly, thus making them feel dry and irritated.
It’s easy enough to moisturize your skin and lips with lotion and lip balm, but what can you do to keep your eyes feeling moist and comfortable? Luckily, wearing sunglasses in the winter can help to prevent dry eyes. The lenses shield your eyes from wind and blowing snow.
Reflection of the sun’s light from horizontal surfaces like car hoods and slick or snow-covered streets can make you experience blinding glare. Wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses will significantly reduce glare and help you see better, especially during times of day when the sun is lower in the sky.
We thought we’d cover the health-related issues first since they’re the most important, but we don't want to skip this important point: wearing sunglasses in the winter can also be a strong fashion statement.
It’s true that sunglasses are most commonly associated with summer fashion--a good pair of wayfarers can make or break a summer outfit. But more and more people are finding that accessorizing a winter wardrobe with sunglasses will turn heads and provide a big boost in confidence.
At the very least, sunglasses can hide the fact that you didn’t get enough sleep last night or ran out of time to apply eye makeup this morning. On the other end of the spectrum, a well-made, well-chosen pair of sunglasses can pull a polished look together like nothing else and encourage you to hold your head up a little higher. Check out the sunglasses trends for fall 2017, as well as the most popular sunglasses styles and sunglasses trends through the decades.
Find a New Pair for This Winter
This winter, find a new pair of sunglasses online that blends your personal style with one of the top trends of the season. A stylish pair of wooden sunglasses will keep you turning heads while it protects your eyes from glare, wind, and dryness.
Choose a classic pair like our Tritons to give your look a timeless appeal, or shake up your style with a colorful pair of Vili glasses. We look forward to helping you keep your eyes healthy and stylish this winter. Contact us to learn more, and be sure to check out our pop up shops!