If you love spending time outdoors, then you know how important it is to invest in polarized sunglasses. This is especially true if you are always taking part in high-glare activities like skiing, fishing, surfing, swimming, and the like. Donning a pair will help minimize glare, provide additional clarity, and shield your eyes from the harmful UV radiation.
So, what are polarized sunglasses, exactly?
Polarized sunglasses are a type of eyewear whose lenses are designed to block glare/brightness from light reflecting against a shiny, flat, or smooth surface. Sure, your normal UV lenses will help protect your peepers and the surrounding skin from the hazardous sun rays, but won’t eliminate the blinding and visual distraction caused by glare in a sunny situation.
In this post, we dig deeper into polarized sunglasses, how they work, and why you should always choose them over ordinary sunglasses. So let’s begin!
What Is Glare?
Glare is simply the difficulty of seeing caused by bright light entering the eye. When light hits a shiny or flat surface, it is reflected horizontally, blinding anyone observing it.
The reflection can be either uniform or non-uniform. A reflection is said to be uniform if the light causing it is reflected from an even or smooth surface such as off the snow, water, road, or car’s bumper. A non-uniform reflection, on the other hand, occurs when light bounces back from an uneven surface such as a rock,
No matter what is causing the reflection, the only way to ensure the clear vision is to filter out or block the blinding reflected light, and that’s where polarized sunglasses come in.
What Are Polarized Sunglasses For And How Do They Work?
As stated, polarized sunglasses are mainly used to eliminate glare. They are coated with a special film that is chemically treated to prevent light glare from entering directly into your eyes.
Normally, light is scattered in different directions before entering your eye. It reflects at different angles when it hits an uneven surface such as a rock or skin. On a flat, highly reflective surface like snow or still water, the light that enters your eye is much brighter because it reflects without being scattered.
Lens manufacturers coat sport sunglasses and other outdoor sunnies with a polarized film to help block some of the light that passes through them. That way, less light is reflected in your eyes.
How Do You Know Your Sunglasses Are Polarized?
Now you know what are polarized sunglasses, but do you know if your lenses are polarized? Here is how to find out.
When having a beach picnic or just taking a walk near a water body, try looking at the ocean with and without your glasses. If they are polarized, they will reduce the glare from the surface of the ocean and increase the contrast a little bit, giving you a better, clearer, view.
Polarized lenses can also be identified using LCD screens. Polarization often makes screen viewing more difficult than when using regular tinted sunglasses. If your pair is polarized, the LCD screen will appear slightly dark or completely black.
Why You Should Choose Polarized Sunglasses Over Regular Tinted Glasses
Are polarized sunglasses better than that regular sailing pair you bought last summer? Is polarization a thing you should consider when choosing sunglasses?
Yes, polarized lenses would be considered a better investment than your ordinary sailing sunglasses. Here is why:
1. Polarization Enhances Visual Comfort
When you rock polarized lenses, your eyes feel more comfortable when you go outside in direct sunlight. Polarization minimizes light brightness, which means, you will be viewing objects with more clarity and without strain even in exceptionally bright light.
2. Polarization Provides Superior Contrast
Polarized lenses filter away horizontal light waves (waves hitting you directly in the eye), allowing you to view objects with better color contrast. This enhancement in color perception enables you to see clearer compared to the excess exposure your eyes would be subjected to and would have to process if you were wearing ordinary lenses.
So, how are polarized sunglasses better in this context, you may ask?
You see, since your eyes will not be forced to work harder than they should to pick out specific colors ad objects in the surrounding environment, headaches and other fatigue-related issues will also be easier to avoid than with regular lenses.
3. Polarization Allows You To See What Is Beneath The Water’s Surface
Ask any watersports junkie and they will tell you that surfing, paddleboarding, boating, and similar activities get much easier to perform with polarized lenses. Why? The light filtering action that polarized lenses perform allows them to see below the water’s surface more clearly.
By blocking light reflections, they can see what is swimming beneath them. If you are adventuring dangerous waters and wish to evade potential obstacles in the water, purchasing a pair of polarized lenses could be a great place to start.
4. Polarization Reduces Eye Strain
When you go out in the sun, you are most likely to squint in response to the bright light. If you are not wearing sunglasses, you will try covering your eyes to minimize the amount of light passing through the retina. Eyestrain often causes muscle fatigue and redness around the eyes and cheeks, and long-term exposure can lead to headaches. With polarized lenses, you can neutralize this issue and keep your eyes comfy.
Q: Are Polarized Lenses Worth It?
Yes, polarized lenses are totally worth it. Glare can be a nuisance. Not only does it distort your colors and views but also causes temporally blindness. Ordinary sunglasses only minimize the amount of light passing through the lens, so you will still experience glare.
Q: Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Your Eyes?
Yes, polarized sunglasses are better for your eyes because not only do they provide sharper vision in situations where glare distracts your viewing, but also keep your eyes safe from UV radiation. But polarization by itself doesn’t block UV rays, so you must make sure the lenses you consider have an additional feature for UV protection.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Polarized Sunglasses?
Some of the benefits of polarized sunglasses include reducing glare, enhancing vision clarity and contrast, reducing the impact of UV radiation, and minimizing eyestrain. Polarized lenses can also be worn indoors by people who are light sensitive, like post-cataract surgery patients, to enhance visual comfort.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Polarized Sunglasses And Regular Sunglasses?
The difference between polarized sunglasses and regular sunglasses is that polarized sunglasses will minimize the amount of glare that enters your eye while in the sun, while regular sunglasses will not. Polarized sunglasses also make images sharper and vision clearer than regular sunglasses.
Q: What Are The Disadvantages Of Polarized Sunglasses?
While polarized sunglasses are great for reducing glare and protecting your eyes from excessive brightness, they are not good for viewing LCD screens, driving at night or low light situations, or flying. They are also not good for people whose sight is sensitive to how lenses alter lighting.
Q: How Can I Tell If My Sunglasses Are Polarized?
The easiest and most effective way to tell if your sunglasses are polarized is looking at a reflective surface with the sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses will minimize glare from a reflected surface and increase contrast, making it easier to see objects with more clarity in bright light.
Q: What Color Polarized Lens Is The Best?
A dark color like green, gray, or brown on polarized lenses would be ideal for most outdoor activities. A darker shade will cut through glare and minimize eyestrain in bright and slightly cloudy conditions. It also maintains color integrity, ensuring clearer and sharper images.
Q: Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Driving?
Polarized lenses are better for driving because they significantly minimize glare from headlights and from light bouncing off a wet surface on the road. They are also great for hazy and foggy conditions, as they help enhance contrast and sharpen objects. This reduces eyestrain, which makes driving safer and more comfortable.
Q: Why Do Polarized Sunglasses Hurt My Eyes?
Eyes could hurt as a result of wearing polarized sunglasses with defective lenses. When a polarized lens is out of order, it makes it difficult to see because it doesn’t reduce glare as required. This induces strain on the eye nerves, causing your eyes to hurt.
Globo Surf Overview
There you have it! A detailed and comprehensive answer to the most asked ‘what are polarized sunglasses?’ question.
Without a doubt, polarized sunglasses are great for anyone who loves to spend time in the great outdoors. They minimize unwanted glare, enhance clarity, and reduce eyestrain.
But just because your sunglasses are polarized doesn’t mean your eyes are protected from UV radiation. Polarization alone doesn’t provide UV protection. To make sure your sunglasses are 100% fit for outdoors, the lenses need to have an extra feature for UV protection.