Sunglasses In The Winter have been something I neglected. Even when driving. This was lake of awareness for me. I just did not know. Do you wear your sunglasses in the wintertime?
As I think about the years I lived in eastern New Mexico, and how little care we took of our eyes during those years. I should have been wearing sunglasses when hanging those cloth diapers on the clothes line! I know, I am dating myself. Disposable diapers were an expense we reserved for travel.
What about your eye health? Are you wearing your sunglasses in the winter sun?
Spring Break Eye Protection
As you travel to the hottest vacation spots, taking a swim break in the pool can provide fun for the whole family.
Are you aware that the sun and water can pose threats to your eye health?
Keep Your Eyes Healthy Through The Winter
So, what can your do to keep your eyes healthy through the winter too?
Having healthy eyes year around starts with these easy things you can do to keep your eyes healthy through the year.
Protect your (and your kiddo’s) eyes for year around fun in the sun. Remembering these eye safety tips for the pool will give you a head start on eye safety winter or summer.
Use Swimming Goggles
Most people think chlorine is what causes your eyes to burn and sting when you open them in the pool. That is part of the story.
Actually the combination of chlorine and debris that’s contaminating the water (even after chlorine is added to the pool) that are responsible for the problem.
Eye irritation from this combination is usually temporary. Even so, it can still be uncomfortable and irritating for your eyes. We often make temporary problems become a long term because we rub our eyes, a natural response to discomfort.
Wearing goggles in the pool will help protect your vision from any discomfort or damage. It goes without saying that you should also make sure your kids wear goggles, too! Start them out with good protection habits while they are very young.
Don’t Swim In Contacts
Take out your contacts before you swim.
Yes, contact lenses are convenient. However, they should be left at home when you head to the pool.
Your contact lenses are not designed to be worn underwater. They can easily fall out and get lost at the bottom of the pool. Or your contacts can shrink when exposed to water.
Make sure to take your contact lenses out before jumping into the pool. If needed, look for a pair of prescription goggles that offer lens correction.
If your soft contact lenses do shrink in water?
Should this happen, they will be uncomfortable. Your contact could tighten around the cornea and damage your eye.
Another reason to remove your contacts is that infection can also occur when you wear contacts in the pool.
Unfortunately, chlorine can still leave some microorganisms floating in the pool. These can get trapped between your contact lens and your eye.
This can cause infections like acanthamoeba, which can result in permanent vision impairment. To avoid this, simply take out your contacts before swimming!
Wear Sunglasses Not Contacts Poolside
If you sit in the sun, especially near the glare from the pool, you can be damaging the eyes.
UV exposure will in time lead to cataracts. As well as macular degeneration.
There is a variety of other eye problems. Often it is the combination of events that cause trouble. Maybe not just the UV exposure, but added to the exposure from last month and swimming without goggles. Or when you had allergy eyes already.
It is easy to be careless with our eyes. They don’t usually object.
Help Your Kids Build Good Habits
Kids are especially at risk for sun damage to their eyes. This makes it important to encourage them to wear sunglasses and sun hats when not swimming.
It is a better solution for your kids to start when they are young to swim in goggles to protect their eyes from the water. Then sunglasses for sun exposure.
Wearing Sunglasses In The Winter
For most of us, it is natural to associate sunglasses with the beach, road trips, and summer in general.
However if you live where you don’t see as much of the sun during winter? Yes so easy to forget that your eyes still need protecting from sun damage during the colder months.
When there is snow on the ground the sunlight can reflect light back into your eyes. This can and cause glare, eye strain, impaired vision, and other unpleasant issues.
Remember, you can easily protect your eyes during the winter with something you probably already have. Your sunglasses. Keep them handy.
Here are four reasons why you should wear sunglasses in the winter.
Sunglasses Reduce Glare
Have you wondered about how glare happens. (glare in the fall)?
When sunlight reflects from something, and obstructs your windshield or just your general view. During the sunrise or sunset hours this results in making it difficult to see what’s in front of you.
Glare can also cause you to be unable to see just a few seconds when sun reflects off the windshield or other surface. Or if a cars headlights are directly in you eye, for just a mere micro second.
Glare is actually worse in the fall and winter; when the sun is lower on the horizon. Being lower the suns rays hit the earth and reflects at a lower (and brighter) angle.
Snow, ice, vehicles rearview mirrors, and even a traffic light can all produce bright reflections.
A winter wonderland is beautiful. Just remember when you are driving, glare can impair your ability to see while driving.
When you wear your sunglasses, you’ll significantly reduce glare while driving. This allows you to be a better driver, protecting yourself and others around you.
Sunglasses Are “Sun Blocking Clothing” For Your Eyes
You likely already aware of the fact that UVA and UVB rays are two types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This radiations are from the sun, and can cause skin damage.
But, prolonged exposure to UV rays—even in the winter—will also increase your chances of eye problems, such as:
- Age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss for older Americans
- Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural (light-detecting) lens
- Corneal sunburn (photokeratitis), short-term yet intense exposure to UVB rays that can cause temporary vision loss
- Pterygium, a growth that may spread to the cornea and block vision
- Skin cancer, which can occur around the eyelids
Remember, your sunglasses are excellent for blocking these harmful UV rays and keeping your eyes safe from the sun.
Do you enjoy wearing eye makeup? Wearing your sunglasses during the winter can also help you prevent the delicate skin around your eyes from wrinkling. This is important! Skin around your eyes that has some damage from sun exposure will no look very good with eye make up.
Sunglasses Physically Protect Your Eyes
During the winter time, dry eyes are a common complaint. (Dry eyes, ) When the cold air hits our eyes, they form reactionary tears. These quick actopm tear are the extra tears you get when your eyes are irritated.
We have a tear film at the front of our eye that evaporates quickly in the sharp wind. This can leave your eyes uncomfortably dry.
By wearing your sunglasses in the winter, you can reduce the evaporation of your eyes’ tears and natural moisture. This will keep contacts lenses from drying out in the wind as well.
On windy days, particles can land in your eyes and scratch them, or even cause corneal abrasions. Those of us who have lived where sandstorms are common, especially in the cooler months of the year can relate to getting your eye full.
You can also have your vehicle “sand blasted” if you happen to drive a while facing the wind. The windshield also will bear witness the the strength of the sand.
Sunglasses can protect you from dust and debris. Also important is to haveespecially if you have the close-fitting, wraparound style of shades or oversized lens.
Your Sunglasses Can Reduce Eye Strain And Headaches
If you are among those who have headache as a result of eyestrain while in bright lighting sunglasses could help.
When you are in bright lighting, your pupils automatically constrict. While in dim lighting, your pupils automatically dilate.
Eye strain can occur in either extremely bright or inadequate low lighting. If your pupils can’t adjust to a comfortable brightness level, the resulting eye strain can lead to a headache.
Your retinas in the back of your eye are very sensitive to light. When you are in extremely bright winter sun or snow, your pupils maynot be able to constrict enough to reduce light exposure.
This will cause you to squint. The squinting often will cause eye straining headaches.
Wearing your sunglasses will help you drastically reduce the amount of light that reaches your eyes.
Thinking about eye damage can be frightening. Make good habits that allow you to easily protect your vision by wearing your sunglasses in the winter.
- Blocking out glare
- Preventing eye staing and headaches
- Avoiding damage from UV rays
- Physically blocking blowing dust and particals in the air
This is the time to make your eye health andsafety a priority.
The UV light will, after a while, cause a breakdown of your cells.
When it comes to protecting your skin, you may be aware of this and diligently wear sunscreen and sun blocking clothing. But maybe you don’t think about it when it comes to your eyes.
Sunglasses are sun blocking clothing for your eyes. So is a wide brimmed hat. These two items will help your sunscreen do a better job.
Cataracts, a condition in which the lens of your eye becomes cloudy and your vision blurs or doubles. This can lead to serious vision impairment.
These cataracts develop slowly, but become more pronounced as you get older. Over exposure to the sun’s rays are a definite contributing factor to their development.
Protect Yourself From Growths In Your Eyes
UV exposure is also associated with the noncancerous growths of pinguecula and pterygium.
Pinguecula is a yellow bump on the white of the eye. You may notice them on some one who has not had access to eye care or sunglasses.
Pterygium is a fleshy growth that can spread to the cornea if not treated and this will affect your vision.
Slow Down Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can also develop more quickly if you have too much exposure to UV rays.
While the research on this matter is mixed, why risk it? Just put on your sunglasses.
Photokeratitis is sunburn of the cornea.
It causes discomfort and blurred vision as well as increased light sensitivity.
You may experience temporary vision loss. This kind of vision loss is often referred to as “snow blindness.”
This condition is temporary, but very uncomfortable. Protect yourself by wearing yoursunglasses.
Shopping For Sunglasses
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality sunglasses. However, you do want lenses labeled “full UV protection” or “protects against UVA and UVB” or “UV 400.”
All of these will lenses block the damaging rays.
Darker lenses aren’t necessarily better than those with a lighter tint.
Go for sunglasses with large lenses or that wrap around to provide full protection for your eyes and the skin around them.
When You Should Wear Sunglasses
You should wear sunglasses when you’re outside and there’s daylight.
Sunglasses are important when driving, too. The windshield of your car protects you from UV rays. The door windows often do not.
If you’re exercising outdoors, gardening, or picnicking, be aware that the damaging rays are strongest from 11 AM-3 PM in the winter. In the summer time 10 AM -4 PM are the most dangerous times to be out.
Young people should develop the habit of wearing sun protection for their eyes.
Some research suggests that the UV light has a greater impact on the eyes of younger people. The lens of a child’s eye is clearer than that of an adult, meaning UV rays penetrate deep into the eye.
Then, kids tend to spend more time outside than adults, too, which makesit easy to forget how much exposure they have had to the UV rays.
Sunglasses And UV Exposure
There are many misconceptions about sun protection for your eyes. To manage the sunglasses part of your sun blocking wardrobe keep these tips in mind:
- Not all sunglasses are manufactured to block 100 percent of UV rays. If you’re unsure about the level of UV protection your sunglasses provide, take them to your eye doctor or optician for an evaluation. Many eye care professionals have instruments that can measure the amount of UV radiation your lenses block.
- Remember to wear sunglasses even when you’re in the shade. The shade reduces your UV a exposure to some degree. But, your eyes still will be exposed to UV rays reflected from buildings, roadways and other surfaces.
- Wearing your sunglasses is also important in winter. Fresh snow can reflect 80 percent of UV rays, nearly doubling your overall exposure to solar UV radiation. When you ski or snowboard, choosing the right lenses is very important for adequate UV protection.
- Even if your contact lenses block UV rays, you still need sunglasses. UV-blocking contacts shield only the part of your eye under the lens. UV rays still can damage your eyelids and other tissues not covered by the lens. Wearing sunglasses protects these delicate tissues and the skin around your eyes from UV damage.
- If you have dark skin and eyes, you still need to wear sunglasses. Although dark skin color may give you a lower risk of skin cancer from UV radiation, your risk of eye damage from UV rays is the same as that of someone with fair skin.
Sami’s Take On Sunglasses In The Winter
I am finally understanding another important way we can protect ourselves from the sun. As well as how important it is.
Wearing sunglasses is more that a fashion statement. It is front line defense for our eyes. The best way we can protect them from the sun.
I am also reminded about how important it is for our younger family members to grow accustomed to wearing sunglasses. My grandkids need to have help remembering to grab them as they run out the door into the bright sun.
Even though we didn’t know about the importance of sunglasses for my kids, this is not true for grandkids. I do know the importance of protecting their eyesight.
Maybe our parents didn’t know to tell us, but we do know now.
I think this part of sun protection is important. I had no idea that sunglasses were considered as important a sunscreen. Now I know.
How will you help your family have better habits for protecting their eyes. It is a matter of lifestyle choices.