Reviewed by : Dr. Matthew Miller, OD on 02 Jul, 2021

While they may look cool, a lot of people don’t realize that sunglasses actually play an important part in maintaining eye health. With that in mind, a common question is whether it’s appropriate to wear sunglasses every day.

Is it OK to Wear Sunglasses All the Time?

Depending on the situation, yes, it’s fine to wear sunglasses all the time. Certainly, any situation during the daylight hours when you need protection from glare it makes sense to wear sunglasses. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to wear a darkly tinted pair to drive at night, but you get the idea.

Some examples of situations and activities where it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses include: driving in bright or hazy conditions, hiking, skiing, fishing, golfing, working in the yard, or even laying on the beach or in the garden in a hammock! If you’re exposed to the sun, you’ll want to protect your eyes, just like you do with your skin when you put on sunblock! Some of the activities just listed do better with certain types of sunglass tints, of course.

What are the Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses to Eye Health?

Depending on the activity that they’re being used for, sunglasses can help reduce eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. They can also provide protection from harmful UV light that can damage the retina later in life in the form of macular degeneration, or hasten the formation of cataracts. On a cosmetic note, they can also help reduce ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles around the sides of your eyes since sunglasses help reduce the need to squint.

Any Problems with Wearing Sunglasses Every Day?

Really, there are no problems at all with wearing sunglasses every day. That doesn’t mean you HAVE to wear them every day, of course. But, if you spend any time outdoors, or even get involved in indoor activities such as sport in a brightly lit setting it’s usually a good idea to bring a pair. Most people feel they help with vision and eye strain, even on heavily overcast or rainy days!

The Best Sunglasses to Wear Every Day?

This is very subjective, not unlike what color shirt you like to wear. However, most people find gray, amber, or brown tints to be very functional for most situations and activities. While all three tints do great in bright conditions, gray tends to work better in brighter light, while amber and brown work better in lower levels.

If you’re a fisherman, you might want to consider wearing a brown tinted polarized lens to help make finding the fish easier. If you golf, you might want to wear a pair of green tinted polarized lenses to help you track the ball. If you’re prone to migraines, a rose tinted pair of sunglasses may help to significantly reduce the prevalence of your headaches.

As you can see from the questions and answers above, it really is OK to wear your sunglasses all day! But use your discretion in making that decision, of course. And unlike the song suggests, it’s probably not a good idea to wear your sunglasses at night, unless you’ve got a foot in the cool camp, of course!