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What Are Polarized Sunglasses?

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Point of view of a person looking at the sea through a pair of polarized sunglasses

Whether you’re spending time in the sun or snow, sunlight can irritate your eyes.  Even when you wear sunglasses, sunlight can bounce off water, snow, and other surfaces, disrupting your vision. You may wonder if there are any specialized lenses that can help you see clearly. 

Your optometrist may recommend polarized sunglasses to help you enjoy your time in the sun, without all the annoying glare and discomfort. 

What Are Polarized Sunglasses? 

Polarized sunglasses can help you avoid uncomfortable glare by filtering incoming light. The polarized filter on the lenses block light waves that bounce off horizontal surfaces, reducing glare and improving vision. This filter applied on the lenses only allow vertical light to travel through.

Polarized lenses can: 

  • Help with color perception outdoors
  • Prevent eye strain and eye fatigue
  • Sharpen contrast of objects

How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?

Light can reflect off many surfaces, including snow, water, the road, or the hood of your car. Light bounces in the direction it hits something, either vertically or horizontally. When you experience glare, it’s typically horizontal light hitting your eyes. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare in your vision by preventing horizontal light from reaching your eyes. 

Glare commonly occurs when light reflects off of flat surfaces, entering your eyes and interfering with your vision. Polarized sunglasses help reduce the amount of glare and UV light hitting your eyes outdoors.

When Should Someone Use Polarized Sunglasses? 

Before you commit to a pair, you may wonder when to use polarized sunglasses. They can effectively block glare but aren’t perfect for every scenario. 

Polarized lenses thrive in many situations

  • Water: Polarized lenses can benefit your eyes when boating or fishing, making it easier to see due to reduced glare off the water. 
  • Sports: Polarized sunglasses can make it more comfortable to do outdoor activities like golfing, soccer, biking. 
  • Snow: Sunlight can reflect off of snow into your eyes, making it hard to see. Polarized lenses can reduce light reflecting up and off from the snow, improving vision. 
  • Driving: Not only can it reduce glare off of the road, it can reduce glare from oncoming headlights from other drivers and the blazing sun through the windshield. 
Young woman thinking about which pair of sunglasses to choose out of the two pairs she's holding

How Do I Pick Out My Next Sunglasses? 

Your optometrist or licensed optician can help you find the right pair of sunglasses, helping you fend off UV rays and enjoy the benefits of polarized lenses. It’s essential to ensure your sunglasses are sun-safe when you purchase them. Otherwise, you may place your eyes at risk.  At West Coast Optical, we have options of non-polarized and polarized sunglasses, all producing UV protection. It’s best to ensure your sunglasses are UVA and UVB protected. 

What Are the Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized lenses have some advantages over other sunglasses. They can help you see clearer, more contrasted vision due to the lens’s filter. You see things a bit darker, but images appear crisper. 

Polarized sunglasses have several benefits, including: 

  • Reduced eye strain
  • Less glare and reflection 
  • Clearer vision
  • Increased contrast 

See If Polarized Sunglasses Are Right for You

Are polarized sunglasses worth the hype? Yes, if they meet your vision needs. 

Polarized sunglasses can be a great way to avoid irritating glare, protect your eyes and enjoy your time outdoors. Speak with one of our Opticians if you’re on the fence about polarized sunglasses—they can help you make a final decision.

Visit us in store at West Coast Optical or book an appointment, if you’re interested in learning more about our sunglasses.

Written by West Coast Optical

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