People tend to associate temperatures with the exposure that they have to the sun. It’s why when summer rolls around, everyone makes sure to put on plenty of sunscreen lotion and to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes. They mistakenly think that once temperatures drop, the dangers of exposure to the sun drops as well. However, this is not true. Not only can sunlight still damage your eyes if they’re too exposed to the light, the sun can actually be more damaging to your eyes during the winters than during the summers.
The Winter Sun Can Still Be Dangerous
One of the reasons why people assume that the winter sun won’t pose nearly as big of a risk to the health of their eyes as the summer sun is due to the fact that winter days are often overcast. But just because the sunlight doesn’t appear to be directly hitting your eyes doesn’t mean that it’s not causing your eyes damage.
First of all, it’s the UV rays of the sun that cause damage to your eyes. UV rays will penetrate overcast clouds, which means that even if it’s not sunny outside, you will still be exposed. Secondly, the presence of snow can actually increase the potential harm that the sun’s UV rays can cause. This is because snow reflects 80 percent of the UV rays that it encounters. As a result, if you’re enjoying a winter activity involving snow, such as skiing, snowboarding, or even just building a snowman, you may be more vulnerable to UV ray exposure than you may have been during the summer.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re going up high to enjoy these winter activities (such as up a mountain), it means that you will have less atmosphere to filter the UV rays. For roughly every 400 metres higher you are, the exposure to UV rays increases by 18 percent.
Wear Sunglasses in the Winter
The best way to protect yourself against the potential harm that UV rays can cause to your eyes in the winter months is by wearing sunglasses. If you’re going out in the snow for prolonged periods of time, wearing sunglasses is a smart choice, even if it’s overcast.