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3 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO WEAR SUNGLASSES IN AUTUMN

Pair of sunglasses with reflective blue lenses thrown into air above grassy sand dunes

Did you know it is just as important to wear sunglasses in autumn as it is in summer?

The sun has firmly set on another summer here in the UK, with temperatures dropping and the typically unreliable autumnal weather in tow, the Waterhaul team have (mostly) hung up their shorts and flip-flops in favour of warmer, waterproof attire.

One accessory that does remain with us for our autumn adventures however is our Waterhaul Sunglasses! There are a variety of factors that can affect and damage your eyes at this time of year, so here are 3 reasons why you need to wear sunglasses this autumn:

1. Sunglasses offer UV protection in autumn.

A pair of sunglasses with brown tinted lenses held up against sunset sky

UV light can cause serious problems to our eyes as well as our skin.

Ultraviolet, also known as UV, light is a type of radiation that comes from our sun, travelling in UVA, UVB and UVC rays. These three different types of rays have different wavelengths and energy levels, affecting how they travel and react with different environments. Read more on UV light here.

The surface of our eyes, as well as our corneas and lenses, are all at risk of being burnt like our skin, but long-term exposure to UV radiation can be even more serious, resulting in conditions like cataracts, a gradual clouding of the eye lens which leads to blurry vision, or macular degeneration, the loss of vision in the centre of your eye.

While the UV index (the strength of UV rays) is at its highest during spring and summer, UV light can burn your skin and damage your eyes at all times of the year, even when it’s cloudy! So ensuring you have a pair of UV-protective sunglasses is important even in winter. The highest level of UV protection available in eyewear is UVA/UVB 400, which provides your eyes with nearly 100% protection from UV rays.

All Waterhaul sunglasses come with UVA/UVB 400 protection as standard, ensuring your eyes receive the best UV protection possible! Our most popular style are the polarised blue mirror sunglasses, especially the Pentire or Fitzroy sunglass styles. Blue mirrored coatings keep colours true to life, so you see the water and surroundings exactly as they are. They also provide comfort and reduce eye strain, making them perfect for long days outdoors.

2. The sun is at a lower angle in the sky in autumn

sunlight shining through the windscreen of a car

Autumn can provide challenging conditions for driving due to the sun being lower in the sky.

Due to the Earth’s tilted axis, the sun sits lower in the sky during winter than in summer. The increased angle results in the sun shining straight in your face, as opposed to coming from overhead like in summer. These conditions can result in visual fatigue from having to squint to see in the blinding light, which in turn can lead to eye strain, headaches and migraines.

This can also cause problems for drivers, particularly when commuting to and from work in the morning and evening, where our car windscreens offer little to no protection for our eyes. This is even worse when the road surfaces are wet, reflecting harsh glare to cause further discomfort and lack of vision.

While all sunglasses will help shield your eyes, brown-tinted lenses in particular can help you distinguish reds, greens and yellows better in bright conditions with lots of glare, allowing you to see the road better and focus on your driving, making our Kynance sunglasses frames with brown lenses perfect sunglasses for driving in winter!

3. Sunglasses protect eyes against snow blindness

pair of black sunglasses in snow with snow covered trees in the background

Sunglasses are just as important in the snow as they are on the beach!

With Autumn being the start of the European ski season, many of us will be planning trips to countries like France, Austria or Switzerland to take to the slopes with our skis and snowboards, but were you aware that sunglasses are as essential in snowy mountains as they are on sunny beaches?

Photokeratitis, also known as ‘snow blindness’ is the burning of your eyes due to UV rays being bounced off of snow, water or even sand, which can result in a painful sensation like having sand in your eyes, sensitivity to light, and even temporary blindness.

Snow is an extremely reflective surface, doubling the amount of UV your eyes are exposed to, but as this light isn’t visible, you may not notice its effects until several hours after you’ve been outside.  Snow doubles the UV exposure to your eyes because it reflects up to 80% of the sun's ultraviolet rays. This means that when you're in snowy environments, you're getting hit by UV rays directly from the sun and also from the rays reflected off the snow, effectively doubling your exposure. This increased UV exposure can be very harmful to your eyes, making proper eye protection crucial in snowy conditions. On a sunny day at the beach by the ocean, the situation is somewhat similar, but the reflection levels differ. Sand reflects about 15-25% of UV rays, while water reflects up to 10%. This means your UV exposure at the beach is significantly increased compared to non-reflective environments, but it is generally lower than in snowy conditions. At the beach, you're exposed to direct UV rays from the sun and additional UV rays reflected off the sand and water, though not to the same extent as the doubling effect seen with snow.

Also activities like skiing and mountain climbing generally take place at higher altitudes, where the sun’s UV rays are even stronger, so you need to take extra care in protecting your eyes in these environments. This is why you typically see people in mountainous areas wearing snow-goggles, or close-fitting, wrap-around style sunglasses frames, like our Zennor sunglasses, which help to prevent indirect light from hitting their eyes from the sides.

Polarising sunglasses lenses are another essential for these kinds of conditions. When light is reflected off of a shiny surface like snow it becomes polarised, reflecting back in harsh horizontal lines, known as glare. Polarised sunglasses lenses filter out this light, reducing the amount of glare that reaches your eyes.  Please remember to protect your eyes at all times, it is just as important to protect your eyes when you are travelling to or from the pistes, as it is when coming down!  Waterhaul would recommend our Kynance Navy sunglasses, which come with polarised mineral glass lenses.  This helps provide exceptional clarity you do not get from cheap plastic lenses, whilst also helping filter and reduce the UV exposure with the highest quality UV protection sunglasses lenses available.

When setting off for your next Autumn adventure, remember to keep a pair of polarised, UV-protective sunglasses handy to ensure your eyes stay protected, as even in cold, cloudy conditions your eyes are still at risk of being damaged.

Learn more about what makes our lenses so special here!

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