Sunglasses sitting next to plants.

Why Sunglasses are Important in the Winter

When winter hits, Michiganders all know the drill: break out the hats, scarf, gloves and sunglasses. Yes, you read that right! While sunglasses are traditionally associated with the warmth of the summer sun, they are actually a year-round accessory.

Don’t believe us? Let’s talk all about the importance of wearing sunglasses in the winter. Trust us. We will have you convinced to break out your shades by the end of this blog.

Harmful UV Rays

You have probably been warned about harmful UV rays before, but we’re going to warn you again!

The three different kinds of UV rays, UVA, UVB and UVC, can cause severe eye damage and pain. Too much of this exposure can even lead to macular degeneration and cataracts.

While UVB rays are the most damaging of the three, polarized sunglasses can make them far less scary. See, polarized sunglasses provide glare protection, as well as UV protection, which can help to ensure your eyes stay healthy. So, note to self: when buying sunglasses, invest in a pair with polarized lenses.

Reflection of Light

Have your ever stepped outside to see a fresh, new layer of snow, only to find yourself blinded by the glare? Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, which is exactly why sunglasses are so important during the snowy white months.

Most objects in nature absorb some of the natural light that hits their surfaces. This is what gives them their color. Snow, however, is different, since it reflects most of that sunlight. That makes it bright white, but it’s also why you squint when you step outside.

Since we’re surrounded by ice and snow for at least a quarter of the year, it’s important to keep sunglasses at the ready. When you step out for some winter wonderland fun, be sure to bring shades for everyone in your family.

Even if you’re just commuting to work, the reflection off of a snowy road can damage your eyes and impair your vision. Pop on some polarized shades so you can cruise with confidence and keep your eyes safely open.
While we love polarized lenses, it’s worth noting that there are a few occasions when non-polarized lenses are best. If you’re skiing, driving a motorcycle, or driving in particularly icy conditions, it might be best to use sunglasses that don’t have polarized lenses. That way, you can see the reflections off of the ice and proceed with caution. Plus, if you’re an airplane pilot, it’s best to avoid polarized sunglasses, since they can make LCD instruments hard to read.

Not sure if you need polarized or non-polarized sunglasses? Come see us! We have a wide range of sunglasses frames and lens options! Hurry and schedule an appointment with us before the flurries of winter hit.