Why Do Blind People Wear Sunglasses

The history of sunglasses can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where people used various forms of eye protection to shield their eyes from the sun’s glare. The earliest known sunglasses were used by the Inuit people of North America, who made snow goggles out of ivory, bone, or wood. These goggles had narrow slits to block out the bright sunlight reflected off the snow and ice.

In ancient China, sunglasses were used by judges to hide their facial expressions in court. These sunglasses were made of flat panels of smoky quartz that protected the eyes from glare, but did not offer any UV protection. Similarly, in ancient Rome, emperors and aristocrats used sunglasses made of emeralds, to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare during gladiatorial games and chariot races.

Today, sunglasses are a multi-billion dollar industry, with a wide variety of styles, materials, and features available. From polarized lenses to UV protection to prescription sunglasses, there is a pair of sunglasses for every need and style. And while they may have started out as a practical way to protect the eyes from the sun’s glare, they have become an indispensable fashion accessory and a symbol of coolness and style.


Who is a medically blind person?

A medically blind person is someone who has significant vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or other forms of medical treatment. The level of visual impairment required to be considered medically blind varies depending on the country and the organization defining it.

In the United States, the legal definition of blindness is based on the best-corrected visual acuity in the better eye, and the field of vision in that eye. According to the Social Security Administration, a person is considered legally blind if their visual acuity is 20/200 or worse in the better eye, even with the use of corrective lenses, or if their visual field is restricted to 20 degrees or less in the better eye.

However, it is important to note that not all individuals who are visually impaired consider themselves “blind.” Some people may have partial sight or low vision, meaning they have some residual vision, but still experience significant difficulties with daily activities such as reading.


Why Do Blind People Wear Sunglasses?

Blind people may wear sunglasses for various reasons, including personal preference, light sensitivity, and social signaling. This article will explore each of these top reasons in more detail.


Personal Preference

Blind individuals, like anyone else, may choose to wear sunglasses as a fashion accessory or to enhance their appearance. While this may seem surprising to some, it is important to remember that blind people, like everyone else, have their own sense of style and personal preferences. For some, wearing sunglasses may make them feel more confident or put together, regardless of whether they are visually impaired or not.

Furthermore, wearing sunglasses can help blind individuals blend in with the sighted population, which can be important for social and professional reasons. People with disabilities often face discrimination or negative attitudes from others, and wearing sunglasses can help them feel less stigmatized or singled out.


Light Sensitivity

Another reason why blind people may wear sunglasses is due to light sensitivity or photophobia. Photophobia is a common symptom of various eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and retinitis pigmentosa. It is characterized by an intolerance to light, which can cause discomfort, pain, or even headaches.

Sunglasses can help to reduce the amount of light entering the eyes and alleviate these symptoms. The lenses of sunglasses can be tinted to different levels, from light to dark, depending on the individual’s needs. Some people with severe photophobia may require specialized lenses, such as those that block specific wavelengths of light or polarized lenses that reduce glare.

It is worth noting that not all blind people experience light sensitivity, and not all individuals with photophobia are visually impaired. Photophobia can also occur in people with migraines, concussion, or certain neurological disorders. Therefore, the decision to wear sunglasses for light sensitivity should be made on an individual basis, based on the severity and cause of the symptom.


Social Signaling

Finally, wearing sunglasses can also serve as a social signal for blind individuals. Blindness is an invisible disability, meaning that it is not always apparent to others. This can lead to misunderstandings or awkward interactions, such as when a sighted person tries to make eye contact or point something out to a blind person who cannot see it.

Wearing sunglasses can help to signal to others that the person is visually impaired, which can prevent these misunderstandings. It can also discourage others from staring at or making unwanted comments about the person’s appearance or disability. Additionally, wearing sunglasses can help to protect the person’s privacy and allow them to move around in public without drawing unwanted attention.


How to improve the well-being of blind people

There are a number of assistive technologies and strategies that can improve the well-being and quality of life of blind and visually impaired individuals. Here are a few examples:

  1. Screen readers: Screen readers are software programs that read text displayed on a computer screen aloud. They allow visually impaired individuals to access digital information and navigate websites, email, and other computer applications.
  2. Audio books: Audio books are an alternative to traditional print books, allowing visually impaired individuals to listen to books instead of reading them.
  3. Braille displays: Braille displays are devices that convert digital text into Braille characters, allowing visually impaired individuals to read electronic documents.
  4. White canes: White canes are mobility aids used by visually impaired individuals to navigate their environment. They can detect obstacles and provide tactile feedback to help the user navigate safely.
  5. Guide dogs: Guide dogs are specially trained dogs that assist visually impaired individuals with mobility and navigation. They can provide cues to help the user navigate obstacles and navigate busy environments.
  6. Orientation and mobility training: Orientation and mobility training is a type of training that teaches visually impaired individuals how to navigate their environment safely and independently.

By utilizing these technologies and strategies, visually impaired individuals can improve their independence, mobility, and access to information, which can have a positive impact on their overall well-being and quality of life.



In conclusion, there are various reasons why blind people may wear sunglasses, including personal preference, light sensitivity, and social signaling. Wearing sunglasses can help blind individuals feel more confident, alleviate symptoms of photophobia, and signal to others that they are visually impaired. It is important to remember that each individual’s decision to wear sunglasses should be respected and understood on a case-by-case basis, based on their unique needs and preferences.

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