The symptoms are unmistakable. Sore, irritated eyes. Difficulty focusing. Dry or watery eyes. Blurred or double vision. Sensitivity to light. Headache. Tired eyes plague everyone at some point. Most of the time, eye fatigue (also known as eye strain or asthenopia) is simply a sign of muscle fatigue, and rest from what’s causing it will result in full recovery.

Common causes of tired eyes include Computer Vision Syndrome, inadequate sleep, dry eyes, overworking, uncorrected vision and allergies. Exposure to bright light causes tired eyes, which most people attempt to prevent by wearing sunglasses. Unfortunately, sunglasses won’t always keep eyes from feeling fatigued.

Most people wear sunglasses to protect their eyes against these sun’s harmful rays and to provide better visibility in sunlight. However, the wrong choice in sunglasses may cause tired eyes.

  1. Purchased cheap sunglasses. Sunglasses should block at least 99% of the sun’s harmful rays. However, many inexpensive sunglasses do not protect against UV light. When this is the case, wearing sunglasses ends up harming eyes more than if the wearer did not wear sunglasses since the dark lenses cause pupils to dilate and expose the inner eye to more UV radiation than without sunglasses. The bottom line is to invest in quality sunglasses that are labeled to protect against at least 99% of UV rays since Cheap Sunglasses End Up Costing You More in the Long Run. 
  2. Have the wrong lens shade for the conditions. Different lens shades (tints) filter different wavelengths of light. In general, light to medium shades are suitable for daily wear, and darker shades work better for extra bright conditions. Choosing the tint based on your lifestyle and personal needs is wise, and many people find that wearing photochromic lenses or having multiple lens shades is the best option for preventing eye fatigue in various sunlight conditions. 
  3. Choose the wrong frame style for the situation. The fit is important to receive the best protection possible from sunglasses and to help prevent eye fatigue. Well-fitting sunglasses are comfortable and provide sharp vision. Keep in mind that wraparound sunglasses block additional UV light and glare from the sides, top, and bottom that traditional styles can’t. Individuals, such as athletes and construction workers, who spend a lot of time in the sun choose wraparound sunglasses for their more complete coverage and fit. 
  4. Did not take excessive glare into consideration. Glare can increase the rate at which eyes fatigue. So, if you drive a lot or spend a lot of time on or near water, consider purchasing lenses that will help reduce the impact of additional glare. Polarized lenses provide the best option when glare is an issue because they absorb light from scattered angles. Extra protection from glare can go a long way in preventing tired eyes.

While resting from the cause of eye strain is usually the best way to relieve tired eyes, it may not be enough of a solution for the long term. The source of the problem needs to be addressed. Start by making sure no health problems lie at the root of your tired eyes. If your physician gives your eyes a clean bill of health, consider these common causes and especially make sure you’re wearing the best sunglasses for your situation.