Updated on  February 21, 2024
2 min read

5 Reasons Why Blind People Wear Sunglasses

Vision Center is funded by our readers. We may earn commissions if you purchase something via one of our links.

Millions of people live with vision impairment. Many of them wear dark sunglasses.

At least 2.2 billion people have vision impairment.5 These numbers are expected to more than double by 2050 due to diseases like diabetes, which can contribute to vision issues.4

5 Reasons Why Blind People Wear Sunglasses

Below are five of the most common reasons why blind people wear sunglasses. However,  these are not the only possible reasons.

1. Sunglasses Protect Eyes from Light

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can be damaging. For blind people, it’s even more dangerous. Blind people wear dark glasses to protect their eyes and decrease the risk of developing conditions like cataracts or macular degeneration.

Most people with severe vision impairment also have light sensitivity, known as photophobia, and sunglasses can help.

2. Sunglasses Shield Eyes From Foreign Objects

Completely blind people are at an increased risk of getting things in their eyes. 

Wearing sunglasses can help protect blind people from getting dust particles and debris in their eyes, especially outside.

3. Glasses Can Help Prevent Injuries

Glasses can help shield the eyes from objects like tree branches or cabinet corners. Visually impaired people may have trouble seeing these objects, if at all.

4. Some Blind People Prefer to Cover Their Eyes

Some people wear sunglasses to protect their eyes. But it’s not the only reason blind people wear them.

Some visually impaired people cover their eyes so others can’t see them. Others find it’s easier to communicate while wearing glasses, especially if they feel self-conscious about eye contact.

5. Wearing Glasses Can Help Communicate Blindness

While not all blind people wear glasses, it’s not uncommon to see a blind person wearing sunglasses. So, wearing dark glasses can indicate a person has legal blindness or visual impairment.

If a person who is entirely blind needs help, others may recognize they are blind if they wear glasses.

Where to Buy Sunglasses

Biggest Selection: GlassesUSA

Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect

Best Independent Retailer: Warby Parker

What Type of Sunglasses Do Blind People Typically Wear?

Most visually impaired people wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV light. 

Many blind people wear non-prescription sunglasses. But people with other types of vision impairment may choose to wear prescription sunglasses that can help correct their vision.

How Many People Are Considered Blind?

About 12 million Americans aged 40 years old and over have vision impairment. This includes one million people who are considered legally blind. Eight million have uncorrected refractive errors, and another three million have vision impairment even after correction.4,1

These numbers are expected to more than double by 2050. This is because of diseases like diabetes, which can contribute to vision issues.4


There are many reasons why blind people and those with vision impairment wear sunglasses. From protecting their eyes from bright lights to communicating their condition, sunglasses can help blind people in various ways.

Not all blind people wear sunglasses for the same reasons. Depending on the severity of their condition, some people may choose prescription sunglasses. Others may only wear non-prescription sunglasses. 

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

Best on a Budget

EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

Discount Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

glasses usa logo
Also Great

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

Updated on  February 21, 2024
5 sources cited
Updated on  February 21, 2024
  1. Blindness Statistics.” Blindness Statistics | National Federation of the Blind.
  2. Blindness Statistics.” The American Foundation for the Blind.
  3. Burden of Vision Loss.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
  4. Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022.
  5. Vision Impairment and Blindness.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization.
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.