Reasons to Wear Sunglasses in Winter

Women wearing a winter sweater and sunglasses holding a coffee paper cup

You might associate sunglasses with the hot, sunny days of summer, but the reality is that this type of protective eyewear should be worn throughout the year — even in winter. Here are four reasons you shouldn’t leave the house without a pair of sunglasses, no matter what time of year it is.


1. To protect your eyes from UV rays

Regardless of the season, the sun emits harmful ultraviolet rays. This means your eyes need to be shielded from them year-round. What’s more, snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV light, effectively doubling your exposure.

Regardless of the season, optometrists recommend that you wear polarized sunglasses with lenses capable of blocking both UVA and UVB rays.


2. To ensure you can drive safely

In addition to causing discomfort and squinting, sun glare can be extremely dangerous to drivers. It can obstruct their view of other vehicles, traffic signals, road conditions and pedestrians. In winter, the risk of sun glare is even higher since snow and ice create more reflective surfaces.

When choosing a pair of sunglasses for driving, make sure the lens tint provides good contrast, clear colour distinction and visibility in both sunny and cloudy conditions.


3. To make outdoor activities more enjoyable

Wearing polarized sunglasses or goggles is essential to prevent snow blindness while skiing, snowshoeing or engaging in other outdoor activities in winter. Also known as photokeratitis, snow blindness is essentially a sunburn on your eyes. It’s caused by too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays, which can often happen if the light is reflecting off a snow-covered surface.


4. To reduce the risk of eye disease

Prolonged exposure to UV rays can increase your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. This is why it’s important to be proactive about your eye health throughout the year. Wearing sunglasses also helps prevent dry eyes by shielding your eyes from cold, dry winter winds.

Keep in mind that sunglasses also protect your eyelids from UV rays, thereby reducing the risk of skin cancer on this part of the body.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Hey, I am founder of Bhaskar Health and completed my Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. My clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab.

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