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Are Polarized Sunglasses Worth It?

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A male sport fishing enthusiast is wearing polarized sunglasses in hot sunny weather while reeling his fishing line.

Are you tired of squinting and straining your eyes in bright sunlight? Your sunglasses are meant to make a sunny day a little more bearable when it comes to how your eyes feel.

Polarized sunglasses are growing in popularity because they are intended to reduce glare on those extra sunny days. They’re especially useful for outdoor enthusiasts, whether they are boaters, skiers, snowboarders, or just someone who is on the road a lot.

But before you go and make the investment, let’s dive deeper into what exactly polarized lenses are, how they work, and if they’re truly worth it for you.

What Are Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses use a special lenses treatment that is designed to reduce glare from reflective surfaces such as:

  • Water
  • Snow
  • Pavement

Glare can be incredibly distracting and tiring on the eyes, and polarized lenses are intended to make it more comfortable to be outside.

A male driver is wearing polarized sunglasses to reduce the glare from the road and other cars. This can make it easier to see the road and can make it safer to drive in bright conditions.

The Benefits of Polarized Lenses

Improved Visibility

Polarized sunglasses can also improve visibility in bright conditions, making it easier to see obstacles, other people, and potential hazards.

When you’re out on the water, glare reflecting off the surface can make it hard to see fish swimming below or to judge the depth of the water. Polarized lenses can help to eliminate this glare, making it easier to see what’s beneath the surface.

Similarly, when you’re out on the snow, glare from the sun reflecting off the snow can make it hard to see the terrain, and polarized lenses can help to eliminate this glare, making it easier to navigate safely.

Polarized lenses can also improve visibility when driving, as they can reduce the glare from the road and other cars. This can make it easier to see the road and can make it safer to drive in bright conditions.

Colour Enhancing

Additionally, polarized lenses can enhance the colours of the environment around you. Without polarized lenses, bright sunlight can wash out colours and make everything look more or less the same. But with polarized lenses, colours can appear more vibrant and true to life.

What’s the Difference between Polarized and Non-Polarized Lenses?

The main difference between polarized and non-polarized lenses is the way they filter and transmit light.

Polarized Lenses

The technology behind polarized lenses is relatively simple. The lenses are made from a special material called a polarizer, which can block certain types of light waves

These light waves, known as horizontal light waves, are the ones that cause glare. By blocking these light waves, polarized lenses help to reduce the amount of glare that reaches your eyes.

The polarized lenses are great for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in activities such as:

  • Boating
  • Skiing
  • Fishing
  • Driving

Non Polarized Lenses

Non-polarized lenses, on the other hand, don’t have a special filter to block horizontal light waves. Instead, they simply act as a tinted window, reducing the amount of light that enters the eyes, making it more comfortable to be in bright sunlight.

Do Polarized Lenses Have UV Protection?

Polarized lenses can provide some protection against UV light, but it‘s not their primary function. They primarily reduce glare and enhance colours, while UV protection is an additional feature.

To ensure complete protection, we recommended that you look for sunglasses that specifically advertise 100% UV protection.

Some polarized lenses are made with UV protection built into the lens, so make sure to check if the lenses have UV protection before purchasing as not all polarized lenses come with it.

Why Do I Need UV Protection?

UV protection is important because exposure to UV radiation can cause eye damage and increase the risk of certain types of eye disease. UV radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun and can be harmful to the eyes.

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause damage to the cornea and the retina, which can lead to conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and even skin cancer around the eyelids.

UV radiation can also cause temporary effects such as sunburn of the cornea (photokeratitis) which can cause symptoms such as:

  • Red eyes
  • A gritty sensation
  • Extreme sensitivity to light

These symptoms can be very painful and can take several days to subside.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Worth It for You?

Now, the question is, are polarized sunglasses worth the investment? It depends on your personal needs and lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly around water, snow, or pavement, polarized lenses can be a great investment.

They can make your time outside more comfortable and enjoyable, and they can also enhance your safety by improving your visibility. However, if you don’t spend much time outdoors or you don’t have a specific need for polarized lenses, they may not be worth the extra cost.

If you’re interested in learning more about polarized lenses or wanting to try some on, book an appointment with West Coast Optical or simply visit the store. Our team will be happy to help you select a pair of polarized sunglasses that’s right for you.

Written by West Coast Optical

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