Eye care in winter: Six reasons why you should wear sunglasses in the cold season
Experts say that winter sun sits lower in the sky and at a different angle than summer months. It actually leads to more exposure to harmful sun rays if one is out for a longer period of time.
If sunglasses keep your eyes safe from the sun in summer, then they are twice as much needed in winters. Research shows that winter brings with it a double threat to the eyes.
Sun rays can still carry the same UVA and UVB rays as they do in summers and in snowy regions, the threat to eyes get doubled as snow acts as a reflective medium for the rays.
Experts say that winter sun sits lower in the sky and at a different angle than summer months. It actually leads to more exposure to harmful sun rays if one is out for a longer period of time. It can be damaging to various layers of the eye.
Here are six reasons by I Rahumathullah, MD, Maui Jim why it is imperative to wear sunglasses in winters:
* Sunglasses protect the eyes from glare: Wintry precipitation coats every surface in environment; it leads to extremely bright reflections of sunlight, which cause glare that can seriously impair vision. This reflective glare is particularly dangerous while driving and skiing. High quality sunglasses protect the eyes from glare, and provide safer and more comfortable vision. Polarised lenses are highly effective at shielding eyes from dangerous reflections.
* Sunglasses filter the sun’s harmful UV rays: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is linked with cataracts and macular degeneration. UV rays damage the corneas in the eyes, which in the long run leads to cataract. Quality sunglasses filter harmful UVA, UVB and UVC rays. Moreover, they provide excellent protection to the delicate skin around the eyes, which helps in preventing wrinkles and premature aging caused by UV rays.
* Sunglasses act as wind barriers: Winters are quite windy. Dust and debris in the wind can cause corneal abrasions. Sunglasses act as wind barriers and prevent the windblown particles from entering the eyes. Close-fitting, wraparound style sunglasses are particularly effective at preventing these injuries. Some sunglasses come with special hydrophobic coated lenses that repel dust, water and oils, keeping the eyes safe and vision absolutely clear.
* Sunglasses prevent headaches: The pupil in the eye controls the inflow of light reaching the retina. Pupil dilates to allow more inflow of light in dim light conditions, while it constricts to prevent too much inflow of light in bright light conditions. However, the pupil is unable to constrict enough while we are under the sun which causes squinting in an attempt to reduce the amount of light entering the eyes. Squinting and constant constriction of pupil leads to headache and eyestrain. Sunglasses balance the amount of light entering the eyes, which increases comfort and reduces the painful side effects of fatigue.
* Sunglasses improve vision: Eyes require just the right amount of light for undisturbed vision and wellbeing of retinas. Too much light and excessive glare causes light-induced “bleaching” of the retinas which reduces visual acuity. To prevent this from happening, wearing high-quality sunglasses becomes absolutely crucial even in winter.
* An absolute must for drivers: It is recommended that drivers wear sunglasses or prescription sunglasses in winter as the low winter sun can sometimes dazzle the eyes, causing accidents. Drivers’ vision is doubly threatened in frosty and icy conditions. The solution is to always wear a pair of sunglasses while driving. Comfortable sunglasses filter the light to prevent sudden blindness caused by sun.
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