When you hear the word “winter,” you typically think of snowflakes, sledding, hot chocolate, freezing temperatures and ice on the roads. When we hear the word “sunglasses,” we tend to think about the summer season, when sunny days rule the weeks and we hit the beach and enjoy outdoor activities.
However, wearing sunglasses is just as important – if not more important – during the winter season. Here are five reasons to encourage your children to wear shades this winter.
Snow reflects the sun’s rays
Snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays, a far greater percentage of reflection compared to water, sand, cement, grass, and dirt. The reflection of sunlight causes an intense glare, making it difficult to see and potentially burning the outer layers of an unprotected eye.
Higher altitudes, lower protection
The winter season gives the perfect excuse to take the family on a vacation to a ski resort. These locations are typically located at higher elevations in the mountains where there is less atmosphere between you and the sun to filter out harmful UV rays.
Reflected UV rays can cause snow blindness
UV rays reflected off ice and snow cause snow blindness, a condition similar to a sunburn but on the cornea of the eye. Some symptoms to recognize include excessive blinking or unexplained crankiness in infants and toddlers who are not wearing sunglasses. Older children may experience eye discomfort, excessive brightness, irritation, dryness and difficulty blinking. Symptoms of snow blindness may appear immediately or can manifest eight to 12 hours following exposure. Though most cases of snow blindness heal on their own within a few days, the damage it causes is permanent and can increase the risk of cataracts later in life.
The skin of the eyelids is extremely sensitive
The skin of the eyelids is thin and extremely sensitive, meaning it can burn easily. Wearing hats or visors with brims at least three inches wide can help shade your eyelids, but the light reflecting off the snow can still expose your eyes to harmful rays from all directions without sunglasses to protect them.
The best sunglasses to buy for winter – and all throughout the year – are a pair that blocks 99 percent or more of both UVA and UVB radiation. The sunglasses here at Real Shades block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays, and are available in a wide range of colors and fits to match your preferences. Shop our online inventory and find the perfect shades for the whole family today!