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The Importance of Wearing Sunglasses for Winter Sports

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Although the sun may not shine as many hours a day in the winter, that doesn’t mean the cold months are a time to retire your sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses is as important in the winter as it is in the summer, especially while engaging in winter sports like skiing, sledding, snowboarding and ice skating.

Here are some reasons you should put on your sunglasses before going out, even on the coldest days.

Eyes Need Protection from UV Rays, Even in the Winter

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are not just harmful to the skin; they can also lead to eye diseases. According to a 2014 study by the National Eye Institute, there is a direct link between UV radiation from sunlight and the development of cataracts. Other studies have found a similar connection between UV rays and age-related macular degeneration.

Ultraviolet rays can do harm even on cloudy wintry days, especially when light bounces off of ice, snow and wet surfaces, creating intense glare.

This is why it’s crucial to wear sunglasses in the winter, especially while enjoying the great outdoors. Be sure to choose sunglasses that screen out 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays for maximum eye protection.

Sunglasses Protect Against “Snow Blindness”

Extended exposure to glare can bring on headaches and eye strain.

Glare can also cause snow blindness (photokeratitis), temporary blindness that results from sunburned eyes. This is particularly dangerous at higher altitudes, where UV rays become more intense. To prevent sunburned eyes and snow blindness, wear performance snow goggles geared to your sport, or protective sunglasses.

Try photochromic lenses that correct vision and automatically adjust the lens tint to match the level of brightness. The lenses become darker when exposed to bright light without requiring a change of glasses.

Protective Eyewear Shields Eyes from the Elements

If you enjoy winter sports, keep your eyes safe with protective sunglasses that not only shield them from the glare but also from wind and debris. Harsh winds on the slopes or anywhere on a wintry day can evaporate tears and result in dry eyes. Plus, wrap-around sunglasses can prevent debris from flying into the eyes and causing corneal abrasions.

Close-fitting sunglasses with wrap-around frames and sports goggles help amateur and professional athletes protect their eyes even in the harshest conditions.

Finding the Right Winter Sunglasses

At Eye & Ear of the Palm Beaches, we are dedicated to helping people select eyewear that enhances their vision and protects their eyes. If you want to learn more about prescription sunglasses, contact Eye & Ear of the Palm Beaches in Boynton Beach today to schedule your eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Snow Blindness Caused Only By Snow?

  • A: Photokeratitis is the sunburn of the eyes caused by the intense glare reflected off of reflective services like ice, snow and bodies of water. Although temporary, the condition comes on suddenly and is painful. By the time an individual notices the problem, the damage to the eye has occurred.While photokeratitis is commonly known as snow blindness, it can also occur on a sunny summer day at a sandy beach. The best way to prevent it is with UV protective sunglasses or goggles.

Q: What are some advantages of prescription sunglasses?

  • A: Although you could pick up a pair of sunglasses at the store, consider the advantages of prescription sunglasses:
    • Custom-made for the patient - you can choose the features you want, including lenses that are tinted, anti-glare and/or ultra-thin
    • Polarized prescription lenses can eliminate glare
    • Vision correction – no need to wear contacts underneath sunglasses, or clip-ons over glasses
    • Prescription sunglasses block 100% of UV rays
    • Quality - prescription sunglasses are made of durable, high-quality materials.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Eye & Ear of the Palm Beaches for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.