Protective efficacy of sunglasses on the conjunctival symptoms of seasonal rhinitis

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2013 Dec;3(12):1001-6. doi: 10.1002/alr.21214. Epub 2013 Aug 26.


Background: Although allergen avoidance can lead to significant improvements in symptoms of allergic rhinitis, there are very few studies in this area. Sunglasses could be effective for protection of eyes from pollen as a cheap, comfortable, and simple avoidance option for allergens. The aim of this study is to determine if wearing sunglasses can decrease ocular symptoms.

Methods: Ocular symptomatic patients (39 total) who had a confirmed history of seasonal rhinitis by skin prick tests and negative skin prick tests for perennial allergens were included in the study. The duration of the study was 4 weeks with 3 required visits. At the onset of the 1-week run-in period, patients were randomized and divided into 2 groups. Group I (n = 18) received topical aqueous nasal budesonide regularly and loratadine once daily as a rescue medication. Group II (n = 21) wore sunglasses during daytime as an addition to this medication. Subjective data included a daily diary recording nasal and ocular symptom scores and antihistamine need during the study period.

Results: Sunglasses significantly reduced ocular symptoms (p = 0.002) and use of antihistamines (p = 0.009).

Conclusion: Sunglasses are an inexpensive and simple treatment for patients with allergic conjunctivitis.

Keywords: allergen avoidance; allergic rhinitis; conjunctivitis; pollen; sunglasses.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic* / etiology
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic* / prevention & control
  • Eye Protective Devices*
  • Female
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Loratadine / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Pollen / adverse effects*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / complications*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating
  • Budesonide
  • Loratadine