Winter is rapidly approaching, and in many parts of the country, there will be months of gray skies to look forward to. While the winter months do not bring the intense sunshine experienced during the summer, it is important to remember that your eyes can still suffer considerable sun damage during this time of the year. Therefore, it is important to take the proper steps to protect your eyes from the sun – even as you bundle up during the cold weather.
It is still possible for UV and blue light rays to damage your eyes on overcast days. Exposure to these dangerous rays can increase your risk of developing:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Pterygia – tissue growths on the whites of your eyes
- Skin cancer near the eyes
- Photokeratitis – sunburned corneas
In order to prevent this damage to your eyes, you should continue wearing sunglasses throughout the winter months, even when it seems gray and dreary outside. It is important to remember that not all sunglasses are created equal. To protect your eyes, you should purchase sunglasses that:
- Block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays
- Block blue light rays
- Contain large lenses that rest close to your eyes
While the cheap glasses at your local store may prevent you from squinting, they do not always offer the best protection for your eyes. By investing in a more expensive pair of sunglasses, you can greatly reduce your exposure to the harmful radiation that can cause serious eye damage down the road.