Are You Protecting Your Eyes?

Posted on by Tamera V

 As the temp dips down low (brrrr) and the longest days of the year are upon us, "Old Man Winter" is finally settling in and sometimes he can be sneaky...

You may feel less heat from that winter sun - but don't be fooled! Those sunglasses you bought last summer are just as important now. The sun's rays can still do serious damage to your eyes - whether you live in snowy slopes or scenic beaches.

The winter sun sits lower in the sky - and at a different angle -than during warmer seasons. "That actually gives you more exposure if you're out for a longer period of time, like at sports and other events," one optician says. "It can be damaging to various layers of the eye."

Research shows that the sun's UV rays can contribute to various eye diseases related to aging, like cataracts and macular degeneration.

We asked a few professionals and basically the answer is clear... "In reality, people need sunglasses all year long. Anyone who has driven when there's snow on the ground knows that. Even when there isn't snow, you're still at risk because of the glare coming off the cement."

Because snow is reflective, up to 85% of the sun's UV rays are reflected upward, according to the  Also, the reflective qualities of snow make it difficult for skiers to see the slope as they descend, possibly causing injuries.

Did you know those UV rays can actually sunburn your eyes? In snow country, it's called snow blindness - and it's a HUGE problem for skiers and snowmobilers. Without eye protection, snow blindness can damage the cornea for up to a week. "The surface of the eyes are actually sunburned."



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