Tips to help protect your eyes from sun damage


Man shielding eyes from sun

When the sun comes out it’s time to grab a hat, some sun cream and go enjoy the day – at least, that’s what people tell themselves in more northern countries! However, whether the sun peaks out only once a year or shines all year round, there are a number of things that can potentially affect your eyes on a sunny day. We want to help with some things to think about, as well as preventative steps to take to help keep your eyes clear all day. Feel free to enjoy the day, or holiday, with our tips below. 


General Concerns

When it’s a sunny day, there are a few things to keep in mind before venturing outside to embrace the warm weather. Wearing sunglasses can help your eyes against sensitivity to sunlight or glare, but also keep in mind that moisture can also be lost for the eye surface… it may not be just enough to wear sunglasses, you may need to consider hydrating your eyes with eye drops too.

Speaking of which, keeping a bottle of water with you may not only contribute to moisture levels for your eyes, but also help keep your body hydrated. It can also be a good back-up if you need to flush your eyes to get rid of a speck of dust or other irritants that happens to land on your eye surface.

A quick mention: looking directly at the sun can cause irreversible solar retinopathy, which essentially means burning or scarring to the back of the retina. As a rule, never look directly at the sun, even when wearing sunglasses. 



Our eyes normally moderate the level of moisture through the secretion of tears. However, on days that are both warm and dry, the job is made a little harder by the atmosphere. The moisture on our eye could then evaporate quicker than it can be replaced, causing the feeling of dry eyes. A humidifier can help solve this problem, but every so often try to find a place to cool down and take a drink from that water bottle.



Many allergies, such as Hayfever, are associated with hot and sunny weather, since they most often occur in spring and summer months. Simply stepping outdoors can be a worry for some, thinking that pollen could affect their eyes at any time.

Allergic reactions that can affect your eyes can include symptoms of watering, inflammation, redness and discomfort. If you think you may need help, discuss it with your GP or pharmacist.


Potential problems affecting your eyes

Should you come into contact with something that causes eye irritation the following may result:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Feelings of grittiness or tiredness
  • Tears or watery eyes

With allergens, sneezing, coughing, a runny nose and/or headaches can also occur in addition to problems with your eyes.



Wearing sunglasses won't just protect your eyes from the sun, they can act as a partial barrier between your eyes and allergens like pollen too. They deflect potential irritants off the surface of the lenses as well as protect you against branches, leaves or other larger objects that could cause more than just irritation if they get into your eyes. When looking for sunglasses, ensure they provide you with 100% UV protection, which means they will block between 99% and 100% of UVB and UVA rays. Polarized lenses may be a good option if you’re particularly sensitive to sunlight, as they reduce glare by filtering out reflected sunlight from surfaces such as windows or the water. 


Other Ways to Help Prevent Eye Problems

Take breaks during tasks that require long attention, in order to rest your eyes and help prevent strain. If you're reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, rest your eyes every so often. Close your eyes for a few minutes, or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes to help stop the eye surface drying. If you are reading outside make sure you do it in the shade, as the page may reflect light making reading that much harder. Turn up the brightness on your phone screen, as you could be straining your eyes to see on a lower setting. 


Optrex Eye Drops

Depending on what might be affecting your eyes, there may be an Optrex solution that could help you. Optrex offer medicated products such as Optrex Allergy Eye Drops Allergy 2% w/v Eye Drops. These drops contain the active ingredient sodium cromoglicate 2.0% w/v and are only available from pharmacies. They are for the relief and treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis. Ensure you always read the leaflet thoroughly before use and consult your doctor or pharmacist if symptoms persist. For other eye problems, such as feelings of irritation or dryness, Optrex Intensive Eye Drops rehydrate and lubricate the eye on contact. The formulation contains specially designed ingredients that replenish your tears, lubricating your eyes for lasting relief. 


Enjoy the Day

So having made a note of these tips, it’s time to enjoy yourself. Quickly check the weather before you go and pick out a prime spot that's perhaps not close to any flowers, should you have a pollen allergy! Also try to stay away from dusty places, which could affect your eyes. Bring along a bag with sun cream, a hat, sunglasses, a bottle of water, and Optrex Eye Drops, and you’ll be prepared for a fun day in the sun, whether at a picnic, the beach, or sports in the park.