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HomeBlog Lenses & CoatingsWhat are Polarized Sunglasses?

What are Polarized Sunglasses?

What are Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses. Everyone’s heard of them but no one really knows what they do or how they work.

Even some of us at the EBD office are left scratching our heads, wondering what exactly are polarized sunglasses. To clear up any confusion, we’ve created a comprehensive guide which you won’t need a masters degree in physics to understand. So, without any more hesitation, let’s begin…

How Polarized Sunglasses Work

When light hits a surface, it is either absorbed or reflected. Some of this reflected light is in a vertical orientation and some are in a horizontal orientation. It is this horizontal light that can cause our eyes problems. Horizontal light causes glare which can range from irritating and uncomfortable to blinding and dangerous. That’s where polarized lenses come in. Polarized lenses work by filtering out this horizontal light, removing the occurrence of glare.

In a nutshell: no horizontal light = no glare = happy eyes

Polarized vs Non Polarized Sunglasses

So what is the difference between polarized and nonpolarized lenses? Regular, tinted sunglasses lenses filter all kinds of light by reducing brightness. This means it’s easier for us to see in bright sunlight but we still have to deal with glare, even if it is dimmed.

What about mirrored lens sunglasses, then?

Though different in appearance, mirrored sunglasses also offer great eye protection by preventing your eyes from straining to see.

The difference between the two types of lenses is that while polarized lenses removes glare from hard, reflective surfaces, mirrored lenses reduce glare from water, metal and other hard surfaces. Mirrored lens sunglasses also have a coating that’s more resistant to wear. On the other hand, mirrored sunglasses do risk color distortion.

Polarized Sunglasses vs Non Polarized Sunglasses

Non polarized lenses (left) vs Polarized lenses (right).

Benefits of Polarized Lenses

The benefits of polarized sunglasses are clear (no pun intended) and any of our prescription sunglasses or nonprescription sunglasses frames can be made into polarized sunglasses. Simply select the polarized option in the prescription process and your lovely new sunglasses will be on their way to you as soon as you’ve completed your order. The benefits include:

Reduced glare

Clearer sight

Improved comfort

100% UVA and UVB protection

Increased visibility through reflective surfaces

Reduced eyestrain  

Who Needs Polarized Sunglasses?

Anyone can use polarized lenses in their sunglasses, but they are specifically recommended for those who undertake a lot of outdoor activities or who are particularly sensitive to glare. They can be used while driving to reduce reflection and glare of the road surface, other cars, and even buildings.

‘Then why aren’t all sunglasses polarized?’, we hear you ask. As useful as they can be, they can have certain drawbacks. It’s less easy to see digital devices, LED and LCD screens through a polarized lens. Pilots are actively discouraged from wearing them when flying as it is harder to see the control panel of planes. Also, the skiers amongst you should know that it’s harder to distinguish between types of snow and ice which can be dangerous when out on the slopes.

If you’re still unsure if you need polarization, the best thing to do is ask your eye doctor at your next eye exam. They will be able to tell you if polarized lenses are right for you and when is appropriate to wear them.

Polarized Lenses

So, are polarized sunglasses better for you?

That totally depends on what you want to use them for. They can be a really helpful in some situations and a bit of a hindrance in others. However, with standard sunglasses starting from $19 and a pair of polarized sunglasses starting at as little as $49, you have no excuse not to get a pair of each. You could even choose your favorite sunglass frame for both pairs! Check out our sunglasses and start your polarized journey today.

Keep those eyes protected,