You've put away the shorts and swimsuits, sandals and sun hats. And summer's over, who needs sunglasses, right? Not so fast. Just because the sun doesn't seem as intense as it is in July doesn't mean it's not doing damage to your eyes.
You actually receive more sun exposure during the winter if you're out for extended periods of time. The sun sits lower and the angles of light are sharper. The sun's UV rays contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration 365 days a year. Because snow is reflective, up to 85% of the sun's UV rays are reflected upward, according to the Vision Council of America. Even if there's no snow on the ground, you're still at risk from the glare coming up from cement and water. Sunlight bounces back off frozen water, doubling your exposure. On the outside, you'll be squinting a lot (wrinkles!) and the sensitive skin around your eyes will suffer from exposure. On the inside, your eyes are still being battered by the UV rays.
Reaching for your summer sunglasses? Tsk, tsk. Winter rays are grayer and the angles of sunlight call for something different than those dark lenses and linear lines of your summer shades. You'll want sunglasses with anti-reflective lenses, a grayer tint than you may use in the summer, and a closer fit. The lighter tint will make it easier to adjust to changing light conditions (so you'll actually keep them on!) and the snugger fit will help block the lower angles of light.
Here's another tip - find a pair that you really like. If you look good in them, you're more likely to wear them regularly.