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Sunglasses in the winter – it’s not a fashion statement

Sunglasses are not just for the summer in Meltham

Most of us do not think about UV in winter. We live in the UK where daylight hours are short and it is cold. On winter days especially snowy winter days UV levels can be very high. On snowy days UV is reflected from the surface of the snow giving us a double dose of UV, and so UV protection is even more important.

Polarized sunglasses give the ultimate help from sun glare. They stop reflected light from dazzling us as well as reducing brightness and giving UV protection. The reflected light in winter often comes from the snow or the sun reflecting off a wet road. This makes it easier to see especially when driving or walking into that low winter sun.

Stay safe in the sun, even in winter

There are also health benefits to wearing sunglasses in winter. UV is associated with cataract development and also causes the delicate skin around our eyes to age more quickly. In extreme cases overexposure to UV can cause snow blindness (photokeratitis). This is a temporary but very painful loss of vision due to UV damaging the cornea (the clear coat over our iris and pupil), effectively a sunburnt cornea. It does heal in 24-48 hours but better to avoid it and your risk is higher on a sunny snowy day.

On a bright windy day sunglasses can protect us from the wind drying our eyes leading to the eyes becoming irritated and sore.

julbo-Sunglasses from Allegro Optical in Meltham Renegade-J499-9023-61_1

Help reduce eyestrain

Sunglasses can also reduce eyestrain. On a bright day our pupils try to constrict to reduce the light entering the eye so we can see clearly without dazzle. When our pupils cannot constrict enough it leads us to screw our eyes up to reduce the light further this can give headaches and eyestrain. With sunglasses on the light is reduced already so our pupil can do the work of keeping the light filtered more effectively.

So keep those sunglasses handy in the winter do not pack them away with your shorts! If you need new sunglasses or specialist sunglasses with your prescription in come along and see us at Allegro Optical Opticians. We offer a full range of sunglass options including polarized. To book your consultation call 01484 907090 


Don’t rely on the carrots to help you see in the dark

The dark nights are upon us….

The clocks have changed and the leaves are falling. It can only mean that we are heading to dark nights and winter.  In 2016 a study carried out by the department of transport found that although only 15% of journeys take place between 7 pm and 7 am those journeys equate to 33% of all road deaths and injuries.

Many of us find that driving in dark conditions is much more difficult than driving in good daylight. There is an old myth that carrots help you see in the dark. However, we are not about to advocate eating carrots as a solution. But, there are many things you can do to help with night driving.

What can you do to help?

Firstly the obvious things, keep the windscreen clean and make sure it does not steam up. Make sure your headlights are working. Keep any light source in the car, like the dashboard lights and satnav, turned down. These will make a huge difference immediately.

Rodenstock-Road-glare coating at Allegro Optical
But have you thought about your eyes? In low light levels your pupils become bigger to allow more light into the eye but that increases blur. If you have a small prescription you may not need it during the day, but at night when the pupil enlarges that small prescription can be very noticeable.
This is commonly termed night myopia (ie short-sightedness that affects you in low light levels). A pair of glasses for night driving can really help.

If you already wear glasses making sure you have a good quality anti-reflection finish on your lenses. It helps stop the glare of the oncoming lights causing extra dazzle.

Other eye conditions like undiagnosed glaucoma and early cataracts can also reduce vision at night. These may require treatment to keep your eyesight within legal limits for driving.

Where to start

Your local Opticians is a good place to start if you are struggling with night driving. Allegro Optical can carry out a thorough eye examination and check your eyes are healthy. we can advise you on any spectacles you may need and on the best spectacle lenses for your requirements. Based in Meltham, near Huddersfield and Holmfirth, Allegro Optical offers a full opticians service, both private and NHS. You can book your appointment by calling 01484 907090