Wearing Sunglasses in Autumn?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, October 20, 2021

Did you know, autumn sunlight can be more harmful to the eyes than the summer sun?

As the summer winds down and the cool, crisp weather approaches, you may think the time has come to put your sunglasses away with your bathing suit.

However, while the sun may not warm the autumn air, it does continue to emit damaging UV rays, all year round!

Here are 5 reasons why you should always grab a pair of shades before heading outside, no matter the season.

1. The position of the sun

During autumn, the sun sits lower in the sky and closer to the horizon, so harmful UV rays have a direct path to your eyes.

While the sun may not look as intense as it does in the summer, its position actually leads to higher levels of UV exposure.

Wearing 100% UV protective sunglasses can help filter out the UV rays and protect your eyes from damage.

2. Sun glare 

Sun glare is especially strong during the autumn due to the sun’s lower position in the sky. The glare can be so intense at times that it causes temporary blindness, making driving and walking dangerous.

Sunglasses with polarized lenses help to block glare and improve your vision clarity.

4. Cooler temperatures

The chilly air and harsh winds can irritate your eyes.

The drop in temperature also causes the oil in the tear film to thicken— affecting the balance of the tears and their ability to adequately nourish and protect the eyes. Often, this results in red, dry, watery eyes— all symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Wearing wraparound sunglasses can shield the eyes from the cool air, reducing irritation.

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Visit an optometrist near you if you’re looking for a new pair of high-quality sunglasses.

Find an eye doctor near you

5. High winds

Autumn winds can lift dust, debris and pollutants into the air. These irritants can damage your sensitive eyes and lead to symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from irritants and allergens that float around in the autumn air.

6. UV damage

Prolonged UV exposure can lead to sight-threatening eye diseases in the future, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Even when the sky is overcast, 90 percent of the sun’s UV rays still penetrate through the clouds. Snow, pavement, water and even tall buildings also reflect a significant amount of UV light.

Therefore, no matter the season or weather, keep a pair of sunglasses nearby to protect your eyes and your vision.

Do children need sunglasses?

Yes, wearing sunglasses should be encouraged from a young age.

Children spend hours in the sun each day, making their eyes more susceptible to UV damage. This damage significantly increases their risk of developing sight threatening eye diseases in the future.

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An optometrist near you can help you find sunglasses that offer both UV protection and comfort.  

The autumn sun may be even more damaging to your eyes, as it sits in a lower position during this season. 

In all seasons, keep a pair of sunglasses nearby to protect your eyes wherever you go.