National Sunglasses day is brought to you by The Vision Council and is a commemorative date held annually on June 27 to celebrate the importance of wearing shades to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays.

In 2017, National Sunglasses Day resulted in more than 900 million impressions, becoming an official trending topic on social media.

Places where you can buy sunglasses

With the heatwave sweeping the nation, people may want to treat themselves to a new pair of shades. There are several places where you can buy UV protective sunglasses.

The RNIB is a great choice, as they support people with vision problems and they stock proper sunglasses.

Brand Alley is another stockist that you can consider. Then there's Specsavers across London including their branches on Tottenham Court Road and in London's Camden Town who are embracing the day and are reminding people to protect their peepers while the sun is shining. Of course, a quick Google search will turn up others that may be more convenient to your location.

While we all understand the importance of protecting our skin in the sun, we should understand that keeping our eyes safe from UV rays is just as important.

Some fashion sunglasses don't protect from UV

A spokesman for Specsavers told me "Lots of people don't realise that many disposable fashion sunglasses that don't hold the correct CE marks can damage sight more than not wearing sunglasses at all.

This is due to the dark lenses causing the pupils to dilate, letting more light in."

They added, "Young people's eyes are often more at risk because they have bigger pupils and the lenses in the eye are clearer than an adult, hence more UV can be let in. Children should wear sunglasses as early as possible, and two is around the usual age to start."

The spokesperson also noted that "Customers should ensure the CE kite mark on their glasses is marked UV400.

Cheaper glasses that do not have these quality marks might not provide adequate UV protection."

Top tips

Here I share top tips for protecting your eyes in the sun in line with guidelines set out by the RNIB who support people with sight loss.

  • Ensure sunglasses hold the CE kite mark and are effective for UV400.
  • Just because it is cloudy UV rays can still come through, so keep those sunshades on.
  • If you wear contact lenses, it is still vital to wear sunglasses because the lenses will not protect from the UV.
  • As with sunbathing, the sun is at it's strongest between 10 AM & 2 PM so this is the best time to avoid it
  • Invest in a good pair of glasses that have photochromic lenses which are light-sensitive and will constantly adapt as the light changes.

For more advice on National Sunglasses Day visit