We all love wearing our shades at the height of summer – looking cool and feeling good is all part of the chilled summer vibe. But you don’t need to pack your beloved sunglasses away in their case from the last glow of Indian summer to the first watery sunshine of spring … you can keep wearing them throughout the fall and winter, and not just as a fashion statement, either.
Wearing sunglasses isn’t just about style, it’s about protecting our eyes from the glare of the sun. That glare might be direct, or it might be reflected off other surfaces, such as water, concrete or even snow. The same glare that can hurt your eyes at the height of summer can do just as much damage on a bright day in the depths of winter, even though we don’t feel the heat from the sun as strongly.
Overexposure to ultraviolet – or UV – rays can cause skin damage, and can also damage our eyes. It has been linked to macular degeneration, the development of cataracts and even temporary blindness. And when UV rays are reflected from a surface such as snow, UV exposure is magnified.
We’ve all learned the benefits of wearing sunscreen, and not just in the summer; now we need to get the message that we need eye protection as well as skin protection all year round.
And, of course, it’s not just danger from UV rays your sunglasses help to prevent; if you are blinded by a winter sun that’s low in the sky – especially if the glare is intensified by bouncing off concrete or some other reflective surface – then your chances of having an accident are increased. That’s as true if you’re a pedestrian as if you’re a driver; it’s as easy to step out in front of a vehicle you can’t see as to pull out in front of one.
So, don’t stop wearing your sunglasses just because summer has passed. And don’t put off buying a pair just because it’s “not the season.” Your sunglasses are an important element of self-care. You totally need them all year round!