benefits of sunglasses, person taking a pair of glasses off a shelf | e-Surgery

Did you know?

Did you know that wearing sunglasses can reduce the effects of hay fever, benefit the long-term health of your eyes, protect from corneal damage and prevent eye health degeneration? As well as a means for avoiding unwanted eye contact!

The Health Benefits of Sunglasses

Sunglasses and Summer in the UK

Naturally, when summer comes around in the UK one searches around their home for their favourite pair of branded sunglasses. If lucky, they haven’t been lost, sat on, or misplaced somewhere the previous summer. Once found – or a new pair of sunglasses purchased, for those sparse, few and opportune days of sunlight permitted to us by the typically British climate of where we’ve chosen to live – it is important to seize the opportunity in style. As well as the desire to break out the cool shades, there are actually many health benefits of wearing sunglasses on those sunny days.

How to Stop Summer Headaches

Sunglasses are a simple and effective way of avoiding onsets of headaches and migraines. In fact, not just in the summer months of peak sunlight, but even in the winter months they can have a profound effect in safeguarding against the pain and discomfort of headache pain. Light, which in some cases goes unnoticed, can set off a headache in the form of:

  • Bright, direct sunlight
  • Reflected light off surfaces e.g. windows, water, snow in winter
  • Indoor or normal lighting

Often people do not notice the sunlight as a contributing factor to their migraines, because of delayed onset of the headache or from being sensitive to low levels of normal unnoticeable levels of light.

What to look for in sunglasses to help prevent headaches:

  • Over 99% UV ray protection (UV-A and UV-B)
  • Infrared ray protection (protective over a wider range of light)
  • Polarised lenses (glare protection)

A New Look at Hay Fever ‘Through the Lens’

For those of us unfortunate enough to suffer yearly from the affliction of being allergic to the pollen that pollutes the air every time a beautifully sunny day peers out from behind the clouds, anything that alleviates discomfort is a worthwhile investment. Sunglasses have been shown to protect the lenses and eyes from dust and pollen that cause the reaction that hay fever sufferers get in the summer. Wearing glasses also keeps your eyes moisturised and can reduce itching and discomfort.

What to look for in sunglasses to help prevent hay fever:

  • Wide frame for maximum area protection
  • Good fit of sunglasses to your face
  • Alternatively, try Antihistamine medication for intense reactions

However, when hay fever gets too much, the best alleviation is usually in the form of antihistamine medication. To find the best medication for you it can be worth discussing options with an expert, for example using e-Surgery’s Ask a Pharmacist service, for a quick and free consultation with a healthcare professional that can recommend the best products to use.

International Sunglasses Day on 27th June

International Sunglasses Day falls on the 27th June yearly, so make sure to sport your shades to look chic or stylish while protecting your eyes, as the sun comes out and the temperature rises in the summer months.

How To Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays

Sunglasses, aside from being a great fashion statement, also have serious protective health benefits. Strangers won’t be able to analyse your facial expressions, but also your eyes will be exposed to less damaging UV-B rays which affect the cornea and lens of the outer eye and the dangerous UV-A rays that can penetrate all the way to the retina at the back of your eyes. Just ensure that your stylish face-wear is labelled to state that it blocks at least 99% of UV rays. UV protection will in the long-term counteract macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness, and progressively causes cataracts in older age.

Most importantly, enjoy the warm weather while staying safe and protected. Celebrate International Sunglasses Day in style, and find out more by getting in touch with our healthcare experts through the Ask a Pharmacist section of the e-Surgery website at

Further Reading

  1. Hay Fever | NHS
  2. Popular OTC Oral Antihistamine Brands | healthline
  3. Sun Protection | The Skin Cancer Foundation