Polarized lenses are lenses that are coated with a special chemical film that helps reduce glare. These lenses have gained a lot of popularity among boaters and fishermen. They use these lenses on their sunglasses so as to reduce the reflected glare produced by the water around them. Most people who spend time outdoors now own a pair of polarized sunglasses.
Glare occurs when light from the sun hits a water or solid surface and is reflected. Glare can be not only annoying but also danger dangerous. Blinding sun glare has been known to cause road accidents, snow blindness and sunburn on eyes. Long-term exposure to sun glare has also been linked to cataracts.
How Polarized Lenses Work
The sun’s rays reflect in all directions. However, when these rays hit a flat surface, they are reflected and become polarized, that is, they create a more uniform path or travel. This reflected light is known as glare.
Glare is responsible for a whole host of vision problems, including distorted view, reduced depth and color perception. Polarized lenses are made from a special filter that works well to block this intense reflected light. A reduction in glare causes a significant improvement in visual clarity and comfort.
Benefits of Polarized Lenses
When glare is reduced, images appear sharper and clearer. Also, visual clarity and comfort are improved.
Most polarized sunglasses also offer UV protection, a key component in protecting your eyesight. Polarized lenses are quite versatile as they can be combined with other features that enhance vision, including progressive lenses, bifocal sunglasses, and various protective coatings.
Are Polarized Sunglasses for Everyone?
Polarized sunglasses have always been synonymous with outdoor enthusiasts such as skiers, bikers, boaters, joggers, and golfers. This is mainly because these activities are greatly affected by glare. Elimination of glare means that these activities can be performed safely and in an optimum way.
Polarized sunglasses are also becoming popular among drivers. This is because the sunglasses work exceptionally well in reducing the glare caused by sunlight reflecting on various surfaces such as the car’s hood or road surface.
Polarized sunglasses are recommended for light-sensitive people, including those exposed to bright light or post-cataract surgery patients.
Are Polarized Sunglasses Recommended All The Time?
In as much as polarized lenses are advisable in reducing glare, there are situations in which they should be avoided. One such scenario is downhill skiing. When skiing downhill, you always need to see the light reflecting off icy patches as this could be a sign of approaching hazards.
Also, polarized lenses are known to reduce the visibility of images on LCDs (liquid crystal displays) or LEDs (light emitting diodes). Such displays can be found on car dashboards, self-service gas pumps, and ATMs. When using any LCD and LED displays, it is advisable to take off polarized sunglasses.
Tinted Lenses Vs. Polarized Lenses
Tinted lenses work great to reduce brightness. However, they do not protect your eyes from glare as polarized lenses do. Also, they do not offer better UV protection than polarized lenses. Polarized lenses offer more overall protection to the eyes than tinted lenses. Also, if the tint is too dark, the pupils dilate and allow more UV rays to pass into the eye.
If you are looking for options in polarized lenses visit our optical store at 360 Eyecare – Metro to speak with one of our lens specialists.