Why Sunglasses Are Important During Winter

Why Sunglasses Are Important During Winter


If you think the cold weather is reason enough to stop wearing sunglasses, think again. Just because it doesn’t feel like summer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wearing those sunglasses from Great Southern Sunnies.

The sun can be unforgiving all-year-round and winter is no exception. Your eyes need to be protected, no matter when.

All Year Protection

Sunglasses are there mainly for just one purpose – to shield and protect your eyes from the glare and rays of the sun.

Now if you think about wearing sunglasses, you’d usually have an image of a person sipping a piña colada under a huge beach umbrella during the height of summer. While this certainly holds true during the summer season, wearing sunglasses is just as important during the winter season as well! If you think about it, the sun is lower on the horizon during the autumn, winter, and spring seasons and this makes it more damaging for us due to the amount of UV rays which could directly hit our eyes.

Dangerous Times

Most people would advise to avoid the mid-noon sun, with the sun being directly overhead, and making it the hottest time of the day. However, not many people know that the maximum exposure to dangerous UV rays actually happens before and after noontime, when the sun is lower on the horizon.



Due to this position, our eyebrows aren’t shielding our eyes from the UV rays which are hitting it, making the number of UV rays we receive from the sun actually more during these times. This happens between 8 to 10 AM, and from 2 to 4 PM, and are the most important times for people to be wearing sunglasses.

Watch Out for Reflections

UV rays are part of the entire spectrum which constitutes light. As such, these rays share the same properties as visible light including being able to be reflected off surfaces. The amount of UV rays reflected depends on the type of surface it hits. This ranges from 5% reflection from grass, 25% from concrete and sand, 30% from sea surf, and finally a whopping 90% from snow.

This means that wearing sunglasses is highly recommended all year round to protect your eyes from developing any UV-related damage and conditions.


Cataracts are where the normally clear lens inside the eye becomes whitish and cloudy, which causes distorted and blurred vision, or even worse, blindness in the eye. It has been proven that the development of cataracts have been directly linked to UV exposure, with almost 20% of cataracts directly caused by or made worse by exposure to UV rays.

Cataracts have actually cost people hundreds of millions of dollars each year in surgical extractions! Yet the risk of getting this really bad eye condition could be lessened by doing something as trivial as lessening one’s exposure to UV rays.


This condition happens when a piece or wing of fleshy tissue grows over the front surface of the eyes, obstructing one’s view and putting undue pressure on the eyeball. This can irritate the eye, and when this tissue grows over the central area, it would start to completely block one’s vision.

 man wearing sunglasses in winter

Pterygium is more commonly known as “surfer’s eye” and is quite a common case in this group or with occupations wherein people spend a lot of time outside under the sun. This is mainly due to light entering the side of the eye closest to the ears, with some of this light being internally reflected inside the eye, coming to a focal point on the side of the eye which is nearest to the nose.

Since something as trivial as light coming in from the side could actually cause such a big problem to develop, optometrists recommend that close-fitting or wraparound styles of sunglasses be used in order to achieve this UV protection from the sides.

Cancer and Macular Degeneration

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation could also cause several other conditions such as damage to the sensor layer to the back of the eye, or the retina, and the part of this layer responsible for one’s central vision, or the macula. UV rays are also known to be associated with several different types of eye and eyelid cancers. Simply protecting yourself from UV rays and decreasing one’s exposure to such could lessen your risk of developing these conditions by a significant amount.

Protect Yourself – A Message from Great Southern Sunnies

With all the possible types of damage UV light could cause to your eyes, there are many different ways to protect yourself from these dangerous rays.

woman in yellow dress wearing sunglasses


First and foremost, you should make it a habit to wear UV protective sunglasses and even hats whenever you’re outside under the sun’s rays. Also don’t forget to check the sun protection factor whenever purchasing sunglasses, as lenses come with different SPF levels. Always aim for high SPF protection whenever you can. There is also the option of getting polarized lenses which reduces glare and reflections, which could further reduce the UV exposure of your eyes.

Finally, if your work or activities would need you to stay outside for prolonged periods, consider purchasing wraparound and close-fitting sunglasses with thick arms to protect your eyes from all angles from the sun’s rays.

Browse through our wide selection of sunglasses and protect your eyes, regardless of the season.

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