Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses in winter!
When you think of summer, you think of reading a book poolside with a big pair of shades on, or perhaps mowing the lawn with your polarized sunglasses on, or even driving in the car with the windows down, your favorite pair of UV protected eyewear. But it’s crucial to remember that during the winter sunglasses are just as important to your eye health as they are in the spring and summer! Spending a day in the snow without protection can be worse for your eyes than spending a day unprotected at the beach. The reason is, snow reflects 80% of the sun’s rays. According to the American Optometric Association, short periods of prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause an effect called photokeratitis:
Like a “sunburn of the eye”, photokeratitis may be painful and include symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Fortunately, this is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage to the eyes.
However, long-term exposure to UV radiation can be more serious and scientific research has shown that it can lead to an increased risk of developing cataracts as well as cause damage to the retina and macular degeneration.
To make sure you are adequately protecting your eyes in the winter, sunglasses should be UV protected and polarized to help you in reducing the glare from things like snow and sun shining on cars. Wrap around sunglasses can provide even more protection for those who spend prolonged amounts of time in the sun. And let’s not forget about our kids and teenagers – often they spend more time in the snow than us and therefore are more prone to experiencing the harmful effects of UV radiation on the eyes.
At Sharonville Evendale Eyecare Center Dr. Murray and her team of opticians can help you choose the best sunglasses to fit your level of exposure and activity in the winter sun. Schedule an appointment today to have your eyes examined and update your prescription, or if you already have had an exam and have a current eyewear prescription feel free to call and set up a time for us to help you pick out some stylish new protective sunwear!