Tips For Happy & Healthy Eyes In The Winter Months
Brrr—baby it’s cold outside! With the colder weather patterns arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us might assume, incorrectly, that it’s okay to go without eye protection during the winter months. In fact, you’re just as likely to receive a sunburn on exposed skin in the winter as you are in the summer. Booking a trip to the Western United States for some of that champagne powder? Pack sunscreen & Fitovers as you’re even more at risk due to the higher altitudes! That said, we’re not advocating you hunker down by the fire all winter long. In fact – we think you should get out there and explore! (see 23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel & 6 Historic Hotels in the National Parks That Will Take You Back In Time) Here’s a collection of tips for winter eye health we’ve compiled to make any winter adventure that much more enjoyable & safer for your eyes!
Wear Your Fitovers! (duh)
Do you remember laying out in the summer as a young adult with the ill advised notion of using a foil reflector? Yeah, we do to. We’ve since smartened up to that—right? Well, when the outside landscape has a full cover of snow, it’s essentially the same thing. In fact, snow reflects up to 80% of UV radiation according to the World Health Organization. That’s more than grass, asphalt or water. Dry beach sand? Only 15%! Jonathan Paul® Fitovers feature polarized, polycarbonate lenses that eliminates glare as well as provides 100% protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Here are a few other factors to consider when purchasing sunglasses:
UV Protection – It is recommended to find sunglasses with 98-100% UV protection, but it is vital to eye health to know exactly what that means while you’re shopping. There are a few types of UV rays, but the UVA and UVB rays are the ones that can harm your eyes and it should not cost you extra as a consumer to find sunglasses that block both of these rays completely. This means that you should always look for 100% UVA/UVB protection clearly marked on sunglasses you’re buying. Furthermore, a dark lens tint doesn’t necessarily mean more UV protection, always look for an actual sticker or tag on the product that states 100% UVA and UVB protection. This should not cost you more as a consumer since it is the entire purpose of sunglasses, so any brand trying to charge more for UVA/UVB protection should be considered very questionable.
Lens tint – Even though lens tint does not effect the actual level of your UV protection, it can still be very important depending on your intended activities. Since different lens colors/tints can help significantly while doing different activities, you should know what to look for when it comes to lens color and tint. While grey is best for intense sun and daily activities, amber is better for fishing, yellow is better for overcast and low-light, and green for depth of field sports like golf or tennis. Check out our complete lens color guide here – just be sure to find 100% UVA/UVB protection when shopping different tints!
Wrap around design – Making sure the lenses are the right tint and UV protected are very important but frame design can also really help keep your eyes – and the delicate skin around them – healthy! Looking for wrap around sunglasses with a brow bar will keep sunlight from reaching your eyes from the sides and from above. If you wear glasses and shop for fitover sunglasses, you’ll find that many brands carry fitovers with brow bars. However if you don’t wear glasses but want to keep your eyes healthy, take a look at our collection as all of our sunglasses feature a brow bar along with exceptional style in a variety of choices.
Polarization – While polarization does not have an effect on the medical health of your eyes, using polarized lenses while fishing or in high-glare situations such as swimming and driving is a good idea. Not only can polarized lenses help you avoid traffic accidents or snag that fish you can see in the water, it can also significantly reduce eye strain by cutting glare.
Be Wary Of Snow Blindness
Too much of anything can be a bad thing as it’s often said and even with shorter days in the winter month, it’s still possible to get too much sun. Studies have shown that sun exposure, regardless of whether its in the summer or winter, may increase your risk to cataracts and snow blindness. Snow blindness is essentially a sun burn on your eyes—and it can often take hours to present itself which is obviously too late. Symptoms can include the following:
Sensitivity to Light
Don’t find yourself laid up on the couch with a cold compress over your eyes while your friends and family are out at the local aprés ski spot. Be sure to wear sunglasses or a pair of snow goggles while out on the slopes and practice good winter eye health.
Protect More Than Just Your Vision – Wear A Helmet!
You should always invest in and wear a snow sport helmet—these will protect your head and will have the proper shape/design to accommodate snow goggles and eyewear. Some resorts require helmets but if the mountain resort you choose doesn’t require you to wear a helmet on the slopes, you should always wear one for extra protection. It’s just common sense and a best practice. One study found that out of 4 million injuries related to action sports, 11% involved the head and neck. While not all falls on the hill can lead to a devastating injury, there’s plenty of reasons to wear a helmet.
Don’t be fooled by cloud coverage.
We included this within our 15 Tips For Summer Eye Health and it’s certainly worth repeating: Cloud coverage can be very dangerous because people think that since it is not sunny, there’s no need for sunglasses. Unfortunately, this is not true. Remember: clouds don’t block UV rays. Even if clouds are blocking some light, if the sun is up, behind the clouds, there are still UVA and UVB rays coming through. That being said, it is also dangerous to wear dark sunglasses in overcast weather, which is why we recommend lighter tints like yellow for the few cloudy days in summer.