January Newsletter: Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

Woman in the snow wear sunglasses to protect her eyes.

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

Sunglasses aren't just a summer fashion accessory. The tinted lenses protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun no matter what the season. In fact, wearing sunglasses during the winter could reduce your risk of several common eye diseases.

Sun Exposure Affects Your Eyes Year-Round

When it's cold and windy outside, sun damage is probably the last thing you're worried about. UVA light damages the skin and eyes, although it can't be seen or felt. Two types of ultraviolet light rays, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), can cause eye disease or conditions ranging from cataracts to cancer. UVA and UVB rays aren't just a problem during sunny days. The rays also affect your skin and eyes on cloudy days.

Shielding your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun is a simple way to protect your eyes and prevent vision changes. Specially tinted sunglass lenses block UVA and UVB light, preventing it from entering your eyes.

3 Eye Conditions Caused by Sun Exposure

If you don't protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, you may be more likely to develop one of these eye conditions:

  • Dry Eye. A layer of tears constantly covers the eyes, keeping them moist and lubricated. Exposure to sun and wind, whether on a sunny summer day or a cloudy winter day, may cause tears to evaporate too quickly causing painfully dry eyes.
  • Sunburned Corneas: Have your eyes ever felt sore after shoveling snow or spending the day on the ski slopes? You may have photokeratitis, a condition that occurs when the clear corneal tissue that covers your iris and pupil becomes sunburned. Snow reflects sunlight, which increases your risk for developing photokeratitis. Spending time around fresh snow doubles your sun exposure, according to the World Health Association.
  • Growths. Sun exposure may also cause bumpy growths on your sclera, the white part of your eyes. Called pterygium, these growths usually aren't a cause for concern unless they grow over your cornea and affect your vision. Pinguecula, another sun-related condition, occur when raised yellow growths appear on the whites of your eyes.

Want to Avoid These Serious Eye Diseases? Start Wearing Sunglasses Now

Exposure to UV light may be a factor in cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and cancer. These diseases take years to develop and can be affected by other factors in addition to the sun. Although you may not always be able to prevent one of these eye diseases, you can reduce your risk by wearing sunglasses every day of the year.

Cataracts happen when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. Removal of the lens and replacement with an artificial lens implant is the only way to improve your vision if you have cataracts. In addition to causing cloudy or blurry vision, cataracts make colors look faded, worsen glare, and make night driving difficult.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when cells begin to die in the macula, the center part of the retina. The retina captures light, interprets that light, and sends impulses to the brain, which processes and stores them as images. AMD causes blurry vision or a blind spot in your central vision.

Cancer on your eyelids or in your eye may also be a hazard of sun exposure. The American Cancer Society expected almost 3,500 cases of cancer affecting the eye or orbit (the structures around the eye) to be diagnosed in 2023.

Protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. Follow the American Optometric Association's advice and wear sunglasses that block 100% UVA and UVB, in addition to scheduling regular visits with the optometrist. Need to make an appointment? Contact our office to schedule your visit.


World Health Association: Radiation: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation, 3/9/2016


American Cancer Society: Key Statistics for Eye Cancer, 1/12/2023


United States Environmental Protection Agency: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation and Sun Exposure, 7/6/2023


American Optometric Association: Ultraviolet (UV) Protection



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We are closed for lunch daily from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM.

Brier Creek Vision Care


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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  • "Excellent office. Staff is helpful and polite when dealing with my special needs child. They understand when he needs break and how to redirect to another technique to achieve goal. Would highly recommend to others!"
    Jennifer, Raleigh, NC
  • "I needed an eye doctor to see me for my concussion issue that effected my eyesight. There isn't many who are able to assess. Dr. Durham knew just how to work with my case in a gentle manner to help keep me calm. I finally have hope for healing now."
    Elizabeth 3/15/19 - Answer to Prayer
  • "Dr Durham is amazing. She takes the time to hear the patient and is extemely knowlegable."
    Susan 3/16/19 - Amazing
  • "All the staff were very helpful & Susan Durham was very thorough & professional"
    Jill 3/14/19
  • "Dr. Durham and her staff are the best and most knowledgeable dealing with brain injuries. Highly recommended!"
    Kristina 3/11/19 - Absolutely the best!
  • "Thought exam was personal, deteilrd and fully explained. Staff were prompt, kind, snd professional. I’d recommend Dr. Durham’s clinic to anyone needing eye care."
    Thomas 3/10/19
  • "The staff was very polite and extremely patient with my condition. Very specific about my condition and caring to help me recover. We will have a long road to recovery together."
    Elizabeth 3/11/19
  • "Didn't have to wait. Very thorough eye exam."
    Sandy 3/7/19 - Great eye checkup
  • "My visit was more than I could of asked for. I told my friends about my visit to the future. Dr. Dunham was extremely knowledgeable, concerned and determined to get it right, Her staff seemed to respect her greatly. staff was trained very well and gave me the confidence they knew what they were doing.
    I have already told my friends about my visit to the future."
    Patricia 2/24/19 - Everything was perfect.
  • "My daughter and I have have had great experiences at Brier Creek Vision! Dr. N. Is fantastic!! The office staff is super friendly, accommodating and very pleasurable to work with. Eye glass frames are plentiful and the opticians are helpful, suggestive and patient! Thanks to everyone for making all of visits wonderful!!"
    Cynthia 2/14/19 – Great Experience
  • "Dr Nakagawara is open, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Karim Glover in the optical dispensary took great care in explaining and helping me to get great value on a new set of prescription sunglasses that will do much more than my previous set. Extremely happy.
    Loved the Optician!"
    Thomas 2/22/19 - Great Doctors and Team...
  • "I cannot tell you how happy I am with Brier Creek Vision. Everyone from the moment you enter, all the way through the appointment, is knowledgeable friendly and caring. I receive excellent and professional care. Highly recommend!"
    Helen 2/21/19 - Excellent care
  • "Went from 20/30 to 20/20! The sky is the limit with dr Patel. Will continue to bring both my kids here...."
    Temidayo 2/17/19 - Dr Patel Rocks!!!!
  • "I have had nothing but amazing experiences here! The entire staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I have never walked away unsatisfied."
    Shelby 2/14/19 - Awesome!
  • "This office has all of the latest equipment and skills to take care of your eyes."
    Wales 2/6/19 - Great eye care!
  • "The atmosphere in the office is very pleasant and welcoming. I always feel comfortable in both the waiting room and the exam rooms. Selecting glasses is also a breeze, as the staff is extremely helpful and knowledgable."
    Kris 1/31/19 - Amazing Experience
  • "Our family visit was over the top. The entire staff took their time and made sure each and everyone's exam was through. No pressure to buy glasses. Our experience with Dr. Nakagawara was outstanding!!"
    Melissa 1/31/19 - Recommend
  • "I always have the best visit at Brier Creek Vision. My Doctor, Esther Nakagawara, is the best at what she does! She handles the procedures with care, caution and concern, explains well and has the best solutions to keep your eyes healthy. The staff is accommodating, patient and very kind to everyone; they never mind answering questions. The opticians are helpful in assisting with the selection of eyecare that looks good and works the best for you. I have told many people about my positive experiences at Brier Creek Vision and recommended this office as well."
    Kailah 1/30/19 - The Best in Eyeccare!!
  • "My family and I have been patients of Brier Creek Vision for 2 years. Dr. Nakagawara is a very caring and skilled OD who communicates, teaches and plans well. The staff and optometrists are inviting, knowledgeable and very helpful. We have recommended BCV to all our friends and family!"
    Cynthia 1/30/19 - Highly recommend
  • "I was thrilled to learn about the new Shaw lens concept to treat my daughter's amblyopia!"
    Molly 1/30/19 - Excellent Experience