Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

Wearing sunglasses in the summer when the sun is at its brightest makes sense. But did you know you should wear sunglasses in the winter too? Even on overcast days? That’s right. You need to protect your eyes with sunglasses 365 days a year.

U.V. Rays

The sun emits U.V. rays all of the time, even when it’s cloudy. U.V. rays are a type of radiation. They’re strongest on a clear summer day but also around on a dreary wintry day. We’ve known for many years that U.V. rays cause damage to the skin, which can lead to premature aging and even cancer. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen during outdoor activities. Now we’re learning that U.V. rays have the same harmful effect on the eyes.

Eye Damage

Every part of the eye is susceptible to damage from U.V. rays. Macular degeneration, cataracts, and damage to the cornea can all result from too much sun exposure. Cancer in and around the eyes is another risk. U.V. rays can also damage the eyelids and lead to wrinkles and even dry eye syndrome. A pair of sunglasses with U.V. protection can help prevent adverse effects from sun exposure.

Snow Blindness

In the winter, snow blindness is another way U.V. rays damage the eyes. All that beautiful white snow and shiny ice act like a mirror, reflecting sunlight and U.V. rays back into your eyes. This can give your eyes a sunburn which leads to temporary snow blindness. Symptoms of snow blindness include sensitivity to light, burning eyes, a gritty feeling in the eyes, halos around lights, and blurry vision. It can last up to a week, but long-term could lead to permanent vision loss. UV-blocking sunglasses can prevent snow blindness.

Glare

Glare is another problem that’s common in winter. The sun’s low angle at that time of year makes glare worse. Sun glare is dangerous because it can prevent you from being able to see. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says about 9,000 car accidents a year result from drivers blinded by the glare. Glare is also dangerous on ski slopes and can lead to serious injury. Polarized sunglasses reduce the effects of glare, helping you see clearly in any situation.

Wind

The wind picks up in the winter, especially in Northern Michigan near Lake Michigan. The cold winter wind dries your eyes out quickly. Contact lens wearers especially need to protect their eyes from drying out. Wind can also blow dirt and other debris into your eyes. Sunglasses block the wind and keep eyes comfortable.

Distorted Vision

Sunglasses will also help you see better in general in the winter months. Light-reflecting off the snow, glare, the lower angle of the sun, and wind cause you to squint. It can also cause your eyes to water. That means you can’t see clearly, which can lead to accidents. Squinting can also cause eye strain and headaches. The right pair of sunglasses will ensure you have a healthy, clear view in the winter.

If you want to ensure your eyes are comfortable and protected this winter, stop by the Sunglass Shoppe, and we’ll help you find the right sunglasses to fit your personality and lifestyle.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Wearing Goggles on the Slopes This Winter

5 Reasons You Should Consider Wearing Goggles on the Slopes This Winter

As we have stated before, it is just as important to protect your eyes from sunlight in the winter as it is in the summer. The same goes for when you are skiing or snowboarding on the slopes! Although wearing sunglasses would protect you from UV rays when you are skiing or snowboarding, they won’t protect you from all the elements of winter. We suggest investing in a good pair of ski goggles if you are into winter sports.

Here are five reasons we think ski goggles are necessary when you are on the slopes.

They will never fall off

 When skiing or on a snowboard, you can pick up some pretty fast speed going down the mountain! If you are only wearing sunglasses, they can easily fly off depending on your speed. Avoid the fear of losing a good pair of sunglasses by wearing ski goggles. Ski goggles include a tight strap and should fit snug around your entire head, so they don’t go flying.   

They protect you from flying debris

 With the speed you are going when traveling down a mountain on skis or a snowboard, you never know what you might run in to, and you may not have enough time to get out of the way if there is flying debris or dust in your way. If you are wearing ski goggles correctly, they should be sealed around your eyes so small particles or dust can’t get into your eyes. This is especially important if you are night skiing, where your vision may be more altered due to the darkness.

Reduces glare

 Snow is bright! If the sun hits snow the right way, it can produce a blinding glare and prevent you from seeing what’s in front of you. Purchase polarized or tinted sunglasses to help minimize the sun glare. They will also help with UV protection.

Protects your eyes if you are in an accident

 Hopefully, it will never happen, but there is always a chance of losing control on the slopes and getting into an accident with another person or a tree. If you lose control and end up hitting a tree or running into branches, your eyes will be protected from anything going into your eye and causing damage if you wear ski goggles. This will help you avoid more damage that may have happened.

They will keep your eyes from drying out

 The winter months bring dryer air, which can affect your eyes when you are out on the slopes. Having that dry air enter your eyes when you speed down the slopes can be very uncomfortable. If worn correctly, ski goggles will suction snug around your face so as not to let in any air as you are speeding down the slopes. You will feel much more comfortable on the mountain when you don’t have dry eyes.

Have we sold you on the importance of ski goggles yet? If we have and you are not sure where to start looking for a good pair, stop into the Sunglass Shoppe, and we can fit you for the perfect pair! The Sunglass Shoppe has locations in Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Saugatuck, MI.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Wearing Goggles on the Slopes This Winter
5 Ways to Take Care of Your Eyes During the Winter

5 Ways to Take Care of Your Eyes During the Winter

With the cold weather at our doorstep, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your body for the dramatic change in temperatures, including your eyes. Winters in Michigan can take a toll on your eyes, but there are steps you can take to protect them.

Drink Water

Staying hydrated is important all year long, but it’s often forgotten in the cold months. It’s easy to remind yourself to drink plenty of water in the summer because it is so hot outside, but drinking water in the winter is just as important, even for your eyes. Drinking plenty of water during the day keeps your body hydrated. Drinking water also keeps your skin and your eyes moisturized. Dry eyes can be very uncomfortable; help avoid discomfort by staying conscious of the amount of water you drink.

Use a humidifier indoors

 You not only experience dry air outdoors in the cold, but it also follows you indoors. Use a humidifier in your home. Keep it in the rooms where you spend the most time. Using a humidifier while you sleep will also help your eyes adjust to the dry air when you wake up every morning!

Wear Sunglasses

 Even though we don’t see the sun as much in the winter as in the summer, harmful rays can still affect us. UV rays are still present in the winter and sometimes can be stronger. The sunlight can bounce off the bright white snow to produce a stronger light in your eyes. There can also be more flying debris in the winter when the wind picks up, such as snow, ice chips, and dirt. Protect yourself from flying debris by wearing sunglasses.

You may not see as many people wearing sunglasses in the winter as you do in the summer, but sunglasses protect your eyes year-round. Don’t forget, the sun reflects off the snow and ice too.
Check out the Sunglass Shoppe’s selection of sunglasses!

Wash your hands often

If it wasn’t drilled into your head over the past two years, we are here to remind you again to wash your hands frequently! Viruses tend to show up more during the winter months than any other time of the year. Viruses are most commonly transferred through hands to your eyes. Avoid touching your eyes and washing your hands frequently to prevent viruses and other eye-related sicknesses.

Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet

Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids help with eye dryness and itchiness. The oils from the omega-3 fatty acids help to produce more moisture in your eyes. Add an omega-3 fatty acid pill to your daily routine to help with discomfort in your eyes. Be sure to always consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet, for safety precautions.

The winter season can be lots of fun if you embrace the cold weather and take care of yourself. Use the above tips to feel more comfortable during the Northern Michigan winters! 

4 Reasons Why Your Vision is Changing That Aren’t Because of Aging

4 Reasons Why Your Vision is Changing That Aren’t Because of Aging

It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that most people’s eyesight changes and gets a little blurrier as you age. Most people see these changes starting in their 50s or 60s. However, sometimes your eyesight can change due to other reasons. Here are a few reasons why you might be seeing your eyes change other than aging.

You stare at screens for most of the day.

 Whether you are looking at a computer screen or your phone, screen time puts you at risk for digital eye strain. Your vision may get blurry, or your eyes may feel tired from a large amount of screen time. This can happen because when people look at screens, they don’t blink as often as they should be. This can lead to eye irritation. A quick fix for digital eye strain is to make sure you look away from your computer every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.

You are pregnant.

Women’s bodies go through a lot of changes when they are carrying a baby. This includes visual changes. Blurriness and double vision can be very common during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can cause women to become near or farsighted until after the baby is delivered. Moms-to-be are also susceptible to dry eyes, leading to blurred vision or uncomfortable eyes if you wear contacts.

You wear your contacts too long

 The longer you wear your contacts, the dirtier they get. Dirt, mucus, and minerals can build up, causing your sight to become blurry. It’s important to remember to clean your lenses daily and replace them according to their scheduled usage. These days, most contacts that are on the market are either daily, biweekly, or monthly. For the cleanest and clearest vision, daily contacts are the way to go. Or take a break from your contacts, and put on your glasses for a few hours!

You have glaucoma.

 The older you get, the more you are at risk for glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when there is a build-up of excess fluid in the eyes, and it causes damage to the nerve, which can cause blind spots to develop. While it’s more common for older people to develop glaucoma, it can occur at any age.

It’s important to get your eyes checked every two years between the ages of 18-60. After the age of 60, you should get an eye exam annually.  Regular eye exams can help you keep up with the changing needs of your eyes.

3 Reasons Why You Should Be Wearing Sunglasses While Driving

3 Reasons Why You Should Be Wearing Sunglasses While Driving

Staying safe on the road also means taking care of your eyes! Wearing sunglasses while driving can help you stay safe on the road and improve your driving experience. Here are three reasons why it is important to invest in the correct sunglasses to stay safe on the road.

Reduces Glare

 Blinding sunlight can be deadly when you are driving. Wearing the right sunglasses can help reduce sun glare. Polarized lenses are beneficial for reducing sun glare at peak sun hours. Polarized sunglasses help to filter reflective light that may hit surfaces and then bounce toward your eyes, causing that glare.

Improves Vision

 Not only do sunglasses help to reduce sun glare to help you see better, but they can also help improve your vision when it rains or when it’s foggy. Ever see someone wearing sunglasses in the rain? It’s actually a smart thing to do! Sunglasses will help create a clearer picture during this kind of weather. Rain can scatter light and create a glare when you are driving. Sunglasses can help you see more clearly when you are driving in rainy or foggy weather.

Keeps Eyes Healthy

 When you are outdoors or driving, and the sun is shining bright, it is only natural to squint your eyes to help block out the light the sun gives off if you are not wearing sunglasses. Squinting your eyes can cause eye strain and headaches, and sometimes even nausea. Wearing sunglasses can help keep your eyes and your body healthy while in the car.

There are many types of sunglasses to consider when you are in the car driving. Choosing the correct lens color, polarized or non-polarized, and comfort are points to consider when looking to purchase sunglasses. Need help picking out the best sunglasses for your face so you can feel safer while driving? Come into the Sunglass Shoppe, and we can help. We have locations ins Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Saugatuck, MI.

woman driving wearing sunglasses
5 Reasons Why You Should Be Wearing Sunglasses This Summer

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Wearing Sunglasses This Summer

Now that the days are getting warmer and longer, it’s time to start thinking again about protecting ourselves from the sun. This includes protecting our eyes from the rays, too. Our eyes are very sensitive, and prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to a number of problems.

Here are five reasons why we should protect our eyes from the sun:

Loss of cells in your cornea
Believe it or not, your eyes can get sunburnt. Too much ultraviolet light (including light from the sun) can burn a person’s cornea. The cornea is the transparent layer in front of the eye. This can be very painful until your eyes rebuild more cells. Sometimes it can be so severe that a person will need to take oral antibiotics to prevent infection. Wearing ultraviolet-protection sunglasses can easily prevent this from happening.

Skin cancer
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, including your eyelids. Wearing protective eyewear not only protects your eyelids, but it can also protect the skin around your eyes from developing skin cancer.

Protection from flying debris
Not only can the sun be damaging to your eyes, but flying debris such as sand or dirt can injure them as well. Getting sand in your eyes can scratch them and be very painful. It can also cause permanent damage.

Reduced headaches
Bright lights, including the sun, can trigger headaches and even migraines. This can occur from straining your eyes too much. Wearing sunglasses can reduce the number of headaches a person may get or eliminate them all together.

Macular degeneration
Having your eyes unprotected from sunlight can contribute to the development of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina. If it gets serious, it can lead to permanent eye damage.

It is important to remember to wear sunglasses all year round, not just during the summer months. It is also essential to wear the right sunglasses when you are outdoors. Wear sunglasses that have UV protection for a lower chance of damaging your eyes.

You can check out some of our favorite sunglass brands such as Ray-Ban, Maui Jim and Zeal, along with lots of others, at one of our four Sunglass Shoppe-Unique Optics locations.

Petoskey
325 East Lake Street
(231) 348-4730

Charlevoix
415 Bridge Street
(231) 547-4730

Traverse City
137 East Front Street
(231) 946-4730

 Saugatuck
131 Mason Street 
(269) 336-4730