Justifying Your Winter Sunglasses Purchase (original post published January 24, 2017)

We’re nowhere near Summer, Christmas is over, and my birthday is not until May so justifying many of my purchases lately has been a struggle.  However, picking up these show-stopping sunnies was an easy decision. I know, I know! It’s the middle of January, I live in New York and there is no beach to sunbathe on in the near vicinity. But let me give you all the reasons why rocking a pair of good-quality, rad sunglasses are so important for your eye health. (Hold up, it’s about to get real nerdy for a minute…)

1. Protect your eyes from glare off snow-covered surfaces

While we should always be protecting our eyes on sunny days in the Summer, it’s just as important to protect our eyes from glare off snow-covered surfaces in the Winter. Precipitation from rain or snow coats every surface and acts like a reflective surface (mirror, mirror on the floor).  According to the Vision council of America, up to 85% of the sun’s UV rays can be reflected upwards off these surfaces and can cause ocular damage, glare and decreased visibility.

2. UV radiation from the sun can cause of ocular disease (any time of the year) including:

i) Cataracts – the lens within the eye is made up of various proteins that can be altered or denatured by exposure to any type of UV-B or UV-C radiation which results in decreased vision through this lens (like when the windshield of your ride gets dirty).  Wearing sunglasses is the best way to prevent the development of cataracts.

ii) Age-related Macular Degeneration – Research has shown that UV exposure from the sun can cause damage to the macula – the area of the retina that is responsible for your central vision.

iii) Pinguecula – exposure to excess UV can result in a raised nodule on the conjunctiva (the white part of the eye). A pinguecula can progress to become a pterygium – a raised, wedge-shaped area that proceeds into the cornea. The concern with this is that it can migrate into the visual axis of the eye that is a) not cute and b) can eventually result in blindness.

iv) Photokeratitis/ Ultraviolet Keratitis – a painful eye condition caused by exposure to UV sources. It is basically the equivalent of a sunburn to your cornea/conjunctiva (YIKES – not fun!)

3. A shield for your precious peepers

Sunglasses provide a barrier from wind, snow, dust and debris, especially during the Winter months. If you’re a contact lens wearer, all the more reason to have a shield for your eyes. If it’s going to be an investment piece in your closet, spring for the hydrophobic coating on your lenses, which acts to repel dust, water and oils.

So although temperatures have dropped – don’t be fooled. You NEED that new pair of sunnies. Doctor’s orders. 

The Monocle Muse

Photography by: Jackie M. Barr


OUTFIT: Jacket: Zara || Gloves: Danier leather || Sunglasses: DITA Eyewear model: Spacecraft