Polarized sunglasses are a great option if you’re an outdoor person. Not only do they block unwanted glare, but they also help you fine-tune your vision. They mainly come in handy if you’re an active athlete, outdoorsman, or always in high-glare situations.
Polarized lenses have a laminated filter that eliminates glare by blocking horizontally oriented light. They reduce eye strain, improve clarity and boost colors. Wear them when you’re driving during the day or playing outdoor sports. Standard colors are brown, gray, green, and yellow.
Polarized sunglasses come in different colors, and dark lens feature higher levels of polarization. Even though all sunglasses are tinted, not all are polarized. Before buying polarized sunglasses, here’s everything you need to know about how they work and when they come in handy.
What are Polarized Lenses?
Polarized lenses feature a laminated filter that eliminates glare by blocking horizontally oriented light. Only vertical waves can pass through the laminated filter.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, polarized lenses will help you protect your eyes from harmful light. These lenses reduce glare from surfaces such as glass, snow, and water. Glare makes it hard to see objects because it distorts their true colors.
Polarized lenses (on Amazon) come in different colors. The most common are brown and gray, but melanin, yellow and green colors are also popular. The material used to make polarized lenses determines the shade.
How Polarized Lenses Work
Polarized lenses protect your eyes by shielding them from direct light glare. Vision occurs when your eyes perceive the light rays reflected off a surface or object.
Light typically bounces off multiple angles depending on the degree of the object’s unevenness. The light is much stronger with smooth, even, and highly reflective surfaces such as snow, metal, or water. This is because no light scatters; it reflects directly into your eyes.
Laminating sunglasses with a special chemical can block horizontally oriented light. These lenses can block all horizontal light with a vertical filter, only allowing vertical rays. Glare is flat light.
What are the Benefits of Polarized Lenses?
- Improved Clarity: Polarized sunglasses help you see more accurately and give you a more precise portrayal of colors. These lenses also feature built-in UV protection.
- Reduced Eye Strain: Your eyes need protection against glare from snow, water, or even the sun. When working outdoors, polarized lenses minimize glare and reflection that cause eyestrain.
- Clearer Vision: Enjoy clearer vision using polarized lenses, which eliminate glare that affects your vision. In addition, polarized lenses enhance contrast and visual clarity, enabling an accurate perception of colors you may have been missing when using regular lenses.
Disadvantages of Polarized Lenses
Polarized sunglasses aren’t for everyone. For example, some people feel disoriented or dizzy when using polarized sunglasses, and others say these sunglasses make all objects look 3-D. In such situations, go for tinted lenses.
In cases where you’re needed to read the LCD information, polarized lenses make the display look dull, frustrating your ability to read.
Since polarized lenses block some light, you shouldn’t use them while driving at night. These lenses may also make it challenging to see icy patches while driving.
When to Wear Polarized Sunglasses?
- Driving: You may also need to wear polarized sunglasses if you’re going to avoid danger when driving. More car accidents happen when there’s glare. In addition, glare makes it hard for drivers to spot hazards and react on time. Polarized lenses block glare.
- Playing Outdoor Sports: Polarized lenses helps athletes see with greater precision to easily maneuver while practicing or competing.
- Extended Outdoor Activities: If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may also need to wear polarized sunglasses.
What Color is Best?
If you’re wearing polarized sunglasses as a fashion item, then any color goes. However, some colors are better suited for specific activities.
Here are some suggestions:
- For computer use, go for rose-tinted lenses. There are recommended for persons who suffer from migraines.
- For snow sports, consider yellow-tinted sunglasses (on Amazon). They enhance contrast in low-light conditions.
- For water activities, consider amber-tinted or brown polarized sunglasses
Are All Sunglasses Polarized?
Standard sunglasses will shield your eyes from bright light and, in most scenarios, provide UV offering. However, they aren’t always able to block glare. Standard sunglasses can look similar to polarized sunglasses, but their lenses lack that polarizing film.
A high-quality pair of sunglasses will typically feature polarized lenses.
How to Tell if Your Lenses Are Polarized
It’s very easy to tell if your sunglasses are polarized. Try looking at the LCD screen with the lenses. If the sunglasses are polarized, it can be challenging to see the LCD screen. If wearing polarized sunglasses, LCD screens look very dark.
Another way to tell if the sunglasses are polarized is by looking at reflective surfaces using the lenses. If polarized, it will make it easy to look at reflective surfaces without feeling eye strain.
UV Protected Sunglasses vs. Polarized Lenses
UV-protected lenses and polarized sunglasses aren’t the same things. For example, polarized lenses don’t offer UV protection unless labeled.
UV protection feature alone isn’t effective against glare. UV exposure can lead to eye damage and cataracts. The use of UV-protected lenses shields your eyes against dangerous harmful UV exposure.
Exposure to extreme UV light can cause photokeratitis or temporary blindness. Therefore, when outdoors, always wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
However, since UV protection doesn’t shield glare, you should go for sunglasses that offer UV protection and are also polarized. Many polarized sunglasses feature a UV protection coating. Before buying a pair of sunglasses, read its tag to see its features.
Are Polarized Lenses Really Better?
If you’re considering buying polarized lenses, find out what you need in a pair of sunglasses. Polarized glasses may be a good fit if you’re an outdoor person.
If you enjoy a more natural look for your vision, you may have better choices than polarized lenses because of their heavy filter. Here are alternatives you can consider:
Regardless of your choice, go for sunglasses best fashioned to meet your needs.