Catching Rays: The Need for Sunglasses in Winter

Tina Patel Tina Patel
Thursday, 30 November 2023 Share this blog: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy link Copy Link

If you see someone wearing sunglasses in winter, don’t be too quick to judge. Yes, conventionally, sunglasses are seen as spring or summer additions to your outfit; they protect your eyes from UV rays. However, despite the cold, the sun can still cause an equal amount of damage to your eyes during the winter months as it’s just as bright.

Why wear sunglasses in winter?

There’s good reason to wear sunglasses in the colder months of the year. Wearing them offers many benefits; here are some of the reasons why you should wear sunglasses in winter on sunnier days:

Protect your eyes against harmful UV rays

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted from the sun. It offers some benefits, such as the production of Vitamin D. The World Health Organisation recommends 5-10 minutes of sun exposure at a time. Too much UV eye exposure can cause serious health risks like cancer or could even lead to blindness.

In the winter, when it’s snowy, 80% of UV rays reflect off the snow into our eyes; this can cause ‘snow-blindness’, which happens when there’s a sunburn on your cornea. If you are planning to ski this winter or you live on high ground, UV radiation increases 5% every 1000 metres. This is one of the reasons that you’ll often see skiers and snowboarders wearing snow goggles.

Prevent eye strain on brighter days

Exposing your eyes to sunlight for a long period of time can result in eye strain, headaches and discomfort. Wearing sunglasses on bright winter days reduces the need to squint and strain your eyes, making your day more enjoyable and less tiring.

Protects from harsh winter winds

Winter wind can be relentless; it’s cold and often icy, which can send shivers through your body. The biggest risk from this wind is something called ‘dry eye’, which happens when the tear ducts in your eyes can’t produce enough moisture. This can stop you from seeing clearly, negatively affecting the quality of your vision.

They benefit your vision in bright conditions

Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean the brightness of the sun doesn’t affect you any less. Glare when driving is dangerous, and if your car isn’t fitted with other sun-blocking functions, it can cause serious problems for you in terms of visibility on the roads. Wearing winter sunglasses when driving in bright conditions is essential for staying safe on the roads; this is due to the sun being lower, which can cause drivers to be dazzled.

Heart & Wayfarer style sunglasses lead the way for blocking out winter sun

Sunglasses StyleSearch Volume OctoberSearch Increase (vs prev. month)
Cat Eye Sunglasses 8100 22%
Heart Sunglasses 5400 53%
Wayfarer Sunglasses 4400 50%
Round Sunglasses 4400 21%
Square Sunglasses 3600 -
Hexagonal Sunglasses 2400 30%
Oval Sunglasses 1900 53%
Clubmaster Sunglasses 1900 23%
Butterfly Sunglasses 880 -
Wrap Sunglasses 590 46%
Aviator Sunglasses 390 -
Octagonal Sunglasses 320 -
Rectangle Sunglasses 260 -

Sunglasses come in many different colours and styles; the table above shows the Google search volume in the last month for the different styles vs the previous month.

Cat Eye’ sunglasses rank as the most searched sunglasses with a search volume of 8100, a 22% increase on the previous month. Popular during the 1950s and 1960s with women, cat eye sunglasses have a pointy end on each side. As the name suggests, the glasses resemble the pointed eyes of a cat. In recent years, models and influencers such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid have popularised these sunglasses.

Heart and Wayfarer sunglasses make up the second and third most searched sunglasses styles over the past month. Heart sunglasses have increased in popularity as we move into the peak winter months, showing a 53% increase in searches on the month prior. Wayfarer sunglasses have a thick frame with a wide top rim that sits at the top of the nose. In the past month, searches have increased by 50% for the style, with 4400 searches in the past month.

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