Winter Eye Care

UV Eye Safety

Sunglasses in Winter — Why They’re Essential And Not Just For Snow Bunnies

Studies show that sun exposure, regardless of season, may increase the risk of developing cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer.

We are exposed to UV radiation daily, even in overcast weather; a fact many of us forget when the temperatures start to drop. The overcast skies and lack of sunshine fool us into thinking that our eyes do not need to be shielded from invisible UV rays.

Most of us are good about protecting our eyes from the summer glare. We keep a pair of sunglasses in our car and wear eye protection when outdoors. During the short, cold days of winter however, many of us stash away our sunglasses. Be aware: winter can wreak havoc on unprotected eyes.

Winter eye care – do you take the necessary precautions? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do so consistently.

To keep your sight sharp and your eyes healthy, proper eyewear is essential, no matter the season. We’re here at John O’Connor Optometrists to help you protect your eyes from the elements this winter: wind, glare and UV exposure. We want to ensure your comfort today and long-term eye health tomorrow.

Skiers and Snow Boarders

UV exposure is nearly doubled when skiing, snowboarding, working or playing in the snow. Snow reflects almost 80% of UV radiation and eyes can get sunburned. Excessive exposure can damage the eyes’ front surface causing intense pain, discomfort and even temporary vision loss or snow blindness. UV radiation on the eyes can also cause cataracts or lead to cosmetically unappealing lesions and tumours that may require surgical removal.

Sunglasses-in-WinterLocation, Location, Location

When it comes to winter rays, snow isn’t the only factor at play. UV exposure also increases with elevation. At height, the air is thinner and there is more ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere.

Shield Yourself

Besides the risk of UV exposure, cold winds and bright glare are two more winter woes to be weary of. Dry, fatigued, or itchy eyes can be irritating and potentially dangerous. Keep eye drops handy; moisturising drops help keep eyes lubricated.

Driving in bright, wintry conditions can also be damaging and dangerous. Look for special polarised lenses, which absorb glare and prevent fatigue by letting your eyes relax.

Get the Right Pair

Wind, UV and glare protection are all very important. When shopping for sunglasses or googles, be sure to choose a pair with 100% UVA/UVB protection. To better block out drying wind, choose wraparound sunglasses or goggles with a foam liner.

Protect Your Eyes This Winter

Specialty eyewear is available for all winter sports and activities. Talk to us if you have any questions about UV exposure or glasses or googles you need to enjoy an active, safe winter lifestyle! Call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss your options for winter eye care with you.