Why You Should Wear Sunglasses Even When It’s Snowing Outside

When it’s summer, it only makes sense to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. But when the weather is freezing, you might ditch your sunglasses thinking that these are only appropriate for the warmer months. But here’s the truth: sunglasses are as essential in the winter as in the summer. So before you head out thinking to leave your favorite pair behind, think again. 

Find out why it’s important to wear your sunglasses even when it’s snowing outside. You’ll thank us later.

Sunglasses Provide UVA and UVB Protection

In winter, you might think that there is no need to wear sunglasses outdoors since the days are often overcast and cloudy for most of the season. But that is just a misconception that needs to be debunked. 

Here’s one thing to keep in mind: when there’s sun, there is UV exposure. And when there is UV exposure, you are still likely to contract eye problems that could potentially result in long-term and worse, irreparable eye damage. In fact, the sun is lower in the sky during the winter months. This means that the harmful UV rays are all the more intense.


Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in Winter


Snow reflects up to 85% of UV rays, making sunglasses all the more important. To make sure that you’re getting the most optimal sun protection for your eyes, the American Optometric Association recommends sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Look for sunglasses that can screen out 75% to 90% of visible light.

Sunglasses Prevent Eye Problems

According to research conducted by Vision Impact Institute, 75% of Americans are concerned about UV safety. However, only 31% wear sunglasses when they step outside. This imbalance in the statistics can pose serious problems in the eye health department, with photokeratitis being one of the most common issues. 

Photokeratitis is a painful eye condition, and it happens when your eyes are exposed to UV rays from the sun or a man-made source. You might have heard of a condition called ‘snow blindness’. This is a form of photokeratitis caused by UV rays reflected off ice and snow. Snow blindness has disorienting symptoms that can include pain in your eyes, headache, blurred vision, and even temporary loss of vision. Eye damaging UV rays are more common in Northern and Southern areas where the air is thinner. However, not being situated in these areas doesn’t mean that you can easily opt-out of eye protection.

Sunglasses Make Winter Activities Easier

The start of the winter months often signals exciting winter activities to many. For winter sports enthusiasts, this could mean hitting the slopes to go on another skiing and snowboarding adventure. But since these activities are always done in high altitudes, the sun’s rays are stronger. 

Not only are the risks of eye problems doubled in the colder months, but you’ll also experience other discomforts such as winter glare and eye strain that could cause headaches. Make sure to choose eyewear that is appropriate for winter sports activities. 

If you’re simply spending some time outdoors where glare would be a problem, wearing polarized sunglasses would help. It’s important to note, though, that polarized sunglasses are not always the best choice if you’re looking to do winter sports. 

When doing such activities, you can choose to wear goggles instead as they do a great job of blocking wind and snow while providing 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Sunglasses Help You See More Comfortably

When it's cold outside, we often deal with dry skin and cracked, flaky lips. To alleviate this, we often tend to reach for creams and balms to soothe that irritating, uncomfortable feeling. But it's not only our skin and lips that are affected when the weather is cold. 

Do dry eyes, redness, and irritation sound familiar? Most of us know that these conditions make it harder to see properly. When that happens, it will - more often than not - be accompanied by tiredness and headaches. Wearing sunglasses can shield your eyes - not only from the sun - but also from wind, debris, dust, and other elements that can exacerbate these eye discomforts.

What Kind of Sunglasses Should You Use in the Snow?

Choosing the right snow sunglasses is essential to ensure that your eyes are kept protected from the common eye problems associated with cold weather.

1. Goggles

Kroop's 13-Five Goggles in black lens tint and black strap

Kroop's 13-Five Goggles

For the winter sports fanatics, instead of wearing sunglasses in the snow, wear goggles. They provide adequate UVA and UVB rays protection, and they are also more comfortable to wear when playing high-adrenaline winter sports. Choose goggles that are lightweight, durable, and are equipped with adjustable bands so they can fit well under or over the helmet.

2. Polarized Sunglasses

Kroop's Nose Dive Polarized Sunglasses in black frame and red-orange lens mirror

Kroop's Nose Dive Polarized Sunglasses

Because of its color, snow is highly reflective and sends UV rays to your eye. This causes glare, which can be debilitating especially when we’re exposed to the sun longer. Polarized sunglasses can help solve this problem by filtering out harsh light that reduces glare. This is one of the reasons why polarized sunglasses are one of the best sunglasses that you can use in snowy environments. However, when you’re hitting the slopes or traversing through snowy terrains, wearing polarized sunglasses makes it hard to discern patches of ice that could unassumingly block your way, so it’s also important to consider these situations.


3. Photochromic Sunglasses

Kroop's Volatile Terrain Photochromic Sunglasses in brown frame and amber lens

Kroop's Volatile Terrain Photochromic Sunglasses

Wear photochromic sunglasses if you are regularly switching your time indoors and outdoors. Photochromic sunglasses transition from light to dark when you're outdoors in as fast as 30 seconds. Besides not having to carry two pairs with you, these kinds of sunglasses are also perfect if you are suffering from light sensitivity or photophobia. 

Final Thoughts

The winter months are fast approaching. As you are making space in your closet for winter-appropriate outfits, make sure that you are not leaving your eye protection behind.

Sunglasses aren't just for the summer. It is something that should be worn no matter the season - be it sun, snow, or rain. 

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