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How Wearing Sunglasses in Winter Protects Your Eyes From UV Rays

Sunglasses are not only a summertime accessory. Here are the top reasons you should wear sunglasses in winter, too.

Man wearing sunglasses in winter

There are many reasons to love winter, especially here in Minnesota (hear us out!). From an array of winter sports to cozy indoor evenings with a great book and hot cocoa, it can truly be a wonderland! It is also a time to take extra measures to keep your eyes fashionably protected. At Rivertown Eye Care in Hastings, we understand the importance of year-round eye care. Here's why you should never leave home without your sunglasses, even when the mercury drops.

1. Wearing sunglasses in winter protects your eye UV rays, which are EXTRA powerful in winter.

The sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays don't go on a winter break. These harmful rays can lead to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelids, and even accelerate aging around your eyes. Snow can reflect nearly 80% of UV light, doubling your exposure. That's why our optometrists at Rivertown Eye Care recommend polarized sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Unlike regular sunglasses, polarized lenses are treated with a special chemical that significantly reduces glare, making them ideal for bright winter days. Learn more about how sunglasses block UV rays in this helpful article by Maui Jim.

2. Sunglasses can prevent Snow Blindness

Winter sports enthusiasts, take note! Activities like skiing or snowshoeing can increase the risk of snow blindness, a painful condition caused by UV ray overexposure.

This condition may be temporary but can still be dangerous. Symptoms include:

  • eye redness

  • eye pain

  • a gritty sensation in the eyes

Our selection of sunglasses and photochromic lenses at Rivertown Eye Care, featuring brands like Barton Perreira, Face à Face, Etnia Barcelona, Maui Jim, and more, not only protect against UV rays but also adjust to changing light conditions, ensuring optimal vision during your winter adventures.

3. Wearing Sunglasses While Driving Enhances Safety

Winter driving in Minnesota can be challenging even in normal conditions, but the added glare from snow and ice makes wearing sunglasses essential.

The right pair of sunglasses enhances safety by reducing glare and eye strain. Our curated collection includes options with brown and grey-tinted lenses, offering clarity and color accuracy in various lighting conditions.

In addition, the intense light from sun glare can cause headaches, eye strain, and increase your risk of eye disease.

Sun glare from snow while driving
Glare from sunlight reflecting on snow and ice can be dangerous while driving and cause headaches and eye strain.

4. Wearing Sunglasses Can Prevent Eye Diseases

Extended exposure to UV rays can worsen conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Plus, the winter sun and cold winds can dry out your eyes, leading to discomfort. Proactive eye care with quality sunglasses is key to preventing these issues. At Rivertown Eye Care, we offer fashionable and protective options that shield your eyes from the elements.

Learn more about Winterizing Your Eyes!

Stylish sunglasses by Barton Perriera

Visit Rivertown Eye Care in Hastings, MN

Ready to upgrade your winter eyewear? Call us at (651) 437-5469 to explore our independent, designer eyewear brands. Our skilled opticians are eager to help you find the perfect pair to elevate your winter style while safeguarding your vision.

Eye care IS self-care, and at Rivertown Eye Care, we're dedicated to ensuring your eyes stay healthy and stylish through every season.


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