The sun’s harmful rays are way more sneaky than you may think. Able to cut through fog, haze, and clouds, UV rays make overcast days deceiving, and you should always wear sunglasses, even when it’s cloudy.
Don’t worry, sunglass manufacturers know this, and they make lenses specifically for low-light conditions so that you can see clearly and protect your eyes, even in overcast conditions.
Here are a few things you should know about wearing sunglasses, even when it’s cloudy.
1 | UV Rays Are Like Ninjas
80% of the sun’s rays can get through clouds. This depends on the types of clouds and cover. According to the American Cancer Society, some types of clouds can actually increase UV intensity. Cloud science is interesting, but you probably don’t have the time or equipment to identify and assess the clouds each time you step outside. UV rays are sneaky devils that can get through clouds, making them easy to foolishly dismiss on overcast days. Don’t let the sun’s ninja rays fool you. Wear sunglasses, even when it’s cloudy.
2 | Wear Sunglasses, Even in the Shade
Surfaces reflect UV rays, especially water, snow, sand, and pavement. Even if you’re under an umbrella or wearing a hat, you should wear sunglasses. Those shifty rays can bounce off of a surface right into your eyes. Protect your eyes; wear sunglasses, even in the shade.
3 | Consider Time of Day and Elevation
According to the American Cancer Society, UV rays are the most intense between 10am and 4pm, and more rays reach the ground at higher elevations.
4 | Don’t Forget About Your Eyelids
Your eyeballs are not the only things at risk when you’re outside; UV rays can also burn your eyelids. Yikes. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, eyelid cancers may account for 10% of all skin cancers.
5 | All Sunglasses Are NOT Created Equal
Always read the label before purchasing a pair of shades. If they do not say that they provide at least 98% UV protection, – 100% is obviously the best – then don’t buy them. Stay away from labels that say things like “UV absorbing” or “blocks most UV light”. Look for a specific rating. Speaking of ratings, sunglasses that provide 400nm protection also provide 100% UV protection.
6 | Size Matters
It’s true. Always consider size and fit. Some sunglasses may look awesome, but if the lenses do not completely cover your eyes, including the sides, or there is too much space between the frame and your face, then the sunglasses will not be awesome defenders against UV rays. Sport and wrap sunglasses typically provide the most protection.
8 | Polarized Does Not Mean UV Protection
Polarized lenses have a filter that reduces glare from sunlight that’s reflected off of a flat surface. Polarization alone does not provide UV protection. Many quality polarized sunglasses do provide 100% UV protection, but you should always double-check a pair of sunglasses’ UV protection rating, and you should always wear sunglasses, even when it’s cloudy.