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5 Reasons to Wear Sunglasses in Winter

5 Reasons to Wear Sunglasses in Winter

Winter may bring shorter days with clouds and cooler temperatures, but that doesn't mean you should forget about wearing sunglasses this time of year. While sunglasses are associated with warm, sunny days, they are just as important for protecting your eyes during the winter months. 


The right pair of shades not only helps shield your eyes from the elements but also adds a touch of style to your wardrobe. Here are five reasons to wear sunglasses in the winter months. 

  1. Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays

One of the primary reasons for wearing sunglasses is to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light. While harmful UVA-UVB rays tend to be stronger in the summer, they are present all year round. In fact, snow, ice, and water reflect these harmful rays and can increase your exposure.  


Significant UV radiation penetrates through clouds and can damage your eyes over time. Don’t let a cloudy day lull you into a false sense of security. 


Prolonged UV exposure can lead to various eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, among other health concerns. Wearing sunglasses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection can help preserve your eye health over time. Remember to check for a UV label on your shades and wear a pair that blocks 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

  1. Prevent Snow Blindness

Photokeratitis is a painful eye condition that occurs when the eyes are exposed to intense UV light, either from the sun or a man-made source. Snow blindness is a type of photokeratitis that results from the sun reflecting off of snow or ice. While typically not a permanent condition, photokeratitis may be avoided by wearing shades with optimal UV protection. 


Snow blindness can happen when skiing, snowboarding, or simply spending time outside on a snowy winter day. Some of the symptoms include: 


  • Eye redness 

  • Eye pain or discomfort 

  • Blurry vision 

  • Watery eyes 

  • Light sensitivity 

  • Seeing halos around light sources 


The symptoms of snow blindness usually resolve within one to two days. Schedule an eye exam right away if you think you may have photokeratitis or for more information on preventing this condition. 

  1. Reduce Glare and Improve Visibility

Snowy conditions often cause glare, which can make it challenging to see while driving or when participating in certain outdoor sports. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare from sunlight reflecting off flat or shiny surfaces like snow and streets.

This can help you navigate your surroundings in the daylight hours. These lenses have a special filter that reduces glare caused by horizontal light waves, making it easier to see objects in your line of vision.  


While polarized lenses are especially popular among skiers and snowboarders, they can make it more difficult to see patches of ice. In these conditions, you may consider choosing non-polarized sunglasses for your winter eye protection. 

  1. Shield Your Eyes From Harsh Elements

Winter weather often exposes your eyes to irritants such as cold wind and dry air. Sunglasses act as a barrier between your eyes and the elements, helping to keep them comfortable. 


Look for quality sunglasses with a wraparound design for maximum coverage from all angles. They should also fit securely to prevent them from slipping or falling off while you're active. 

  1. Enjoy Outdoor Winter Activities in Style

Wearing sunglasses in winter can help you make a great fashion statement. With countless designs and brands to choose from, you can express your personal style while keeping your eyes protected from the sun’s harmful UVA-UVB rays.

The best part is that you can continue wearing your favorite shades all year round or choose a pair of winter sunglasses specifically for this time of year. 


Prescription sunglasses are also available from your eye doctor for those who need vision correction. With this option, you can still enjoy outdoor activities without compromising your eyesight or fashion ensemble. From minimalist designs to bold statement pieces, there's a perfect pair for every occasion. 

Find Your Winter Sunglasses 

As you can see, sunglasses are a must-have accessory in the winter months. So before you head out to your next winter outing, make sure to grab a pair to take along with you. Foster Grant offers a wide variety of sunglasses as well as options for 100% UVA and UVB protection, polarization, and more. Find the best shades for your needs today. 





1. Photokeratitis. Cleveland Clinic. December 2020. 

2. 5 eye conditions linked to sun damage. All About Vision. March 2020.* 

3. Ultraviolet (UV) protection. American Optometric Association. Accessed November 2023. 

4. What are the advantages of polarized sunglasses? All About Vision. January 2020.* 


The sources listed here have been provided for informational purposes only. The citation of a particular source does not constitute an endorsement or approval of EssilorLuxottica products, services, or opinions by such source. 


*Like Foster Grant, All About Vision and AAV Media, LLC are affiliates of EssilorLuxottica.