Best Tips for Protecting Your Eyes in the Winter
Posted on December 21, 2018
First, why is winter eye protection so important?
As the warm weather fades and the days get shorter we often find ourselves reaching for our sunglasses less often. It’s hard to remember to grab your shades while heading out the door when it’s 20 degrees, overcast and maybe even snowing, but this is a classic winter mistake.
Despite shorter days and lower light, eye protection in the winter is crucial to combatting damaging UV exposure, especially for those of us that spend a lot of time outside. UV reflections from snow are often more intense than reflection off of water, with up to 85 percent of UV rays bouncing off snow directly into our eyes. And for those of us living at higher elevation? It’s even worse. UV Radiation increases 3 percent every 1,300ft. So when you’re standing up on the ridge at Bridger Bowl, that’s a 20% increase in exposure to damaging rays.
For a lot of us, this concern is covered with our ski goggles, especially when spending our days skiing the resort. But for those of us that enjoy backcountry skiing and snowboarding just as much as Bridger laps, we know how annoying goggles can be while skinning. Not to mention how painful it can be when *snow blindness gets the best of us when we forget to shield our eyes properly.
*A temporary and sometimes permanent vision loss caused by the UV reflection off of snow. It can be incredibly painful and can lead to long-term vision problems. If you experience snow blindness and it does not go away you should visit an eye doctor.
If you experience snow blindness and it does not go away you should visit an eye doctor.
How to Protect Yourself
Sunscreen and... you guessed it! Wear sunglasses!
Just like our eyes, our skin is also sensitive to UV reflections. Sunscreen is incredibly important to protect your skin from the reflecting rays that a hat won’t block. Our favorite winter skin coverage is Dermatone’s Mini Tin SPF 23 and Frostbite Fighter. Their sunscreen not only prevents sun damage but also from chapping and frostbite. Plus it fits right in the pocket of your snow pants.
Now let’s talk eye protection. In addition to using eye drops to help combat the dry air in the winter, sunglasses are key when for enjoying outdoor activities during the winter months. They protect you from harmful sun damage and helps to prevent dry eyes due to the wind and cold air. Just like ski goggles, not all sunglasses are created equally when it comes to quality and protection from snow reflection. Wraparound performance sunglasses offer the best coverage while also acting as a barrier against wind and snow. For a lot of us, when we are skinning and switch to goggles, our glasses either go into our pack or our pocket. So for winter recreation, it is best to use NXT lenses that won’t break in your pocket and are lightweight enough to stay on your face while hiking.
Our favorite pair of sunglasses for winter eye care and protection is the Breakline Cahabas with Blue Mirror Lenses. These polarized shades are designed with a generous wrap for full coverage. Fit with NXT lenses that provide 100 percent UV protection, your eyes will be safe year round. Not to mention with our Lifetime Warranty and Loss Replacement you can be sure that if your sunglasses get lost in the snow (we have all been there), we’ll have your back.