Polarized sunglasses: Why do you need them?

Reviewed by Dr. Justin Asgarpour

Having a pair of polarized sunglasses makes it easier for you to see in bright conditions since your eyes aren't constantly distracted by glare. They increase your visual comfort by reducing glare from smooth surfaces such as roads, water, snow, and glass. That’s why these sunglasses are popular for driving and outdoor activities. Polarized sunglasses are available in brown, green-grey, and grey tints. You can transform any pair of frames into sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection.

How do polarized lenses work?

Polarized lenses block up to 50% of the light to pass through the lens. When sunlight hits a smooth surface, it creates a distracting and sometimes blinding light that causes glare and interferes with your vision. Polarized lenses are laminated with tiny vertical stripes that help filter out the reflection of light that travels horizontally, softening the intensity and combatting glare.

The difference: Polarized vs
non-polarized sunglasses

While all sunglasses protect your eyes from bright lights, only polarized sunglasses can block glare to improve your vision and comfort. Check out the table below to understand the differences between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses.

 

Non-Polarized

Polarized

Usage

Basic protection against bright light and UV rays.

100% UVA and UVB protection. Block glare from horizontal surfaces such as roads, water and snow.

UV Protection

Suitable for those who find polarized sunglasses uncomfortable.

Enhance colour contrast.

Reduce the amount of work the iris needs to do to adjust to varying levels of light.

Improve visual acuity and comfort for driving, water sports, snow sports and everyday sports.

Convenience

Your iris needs to work much harder due to strenuous, ongoing adjustment to flashes of glare.

Glare from surfaces such as oncoming car windshields, snow or water can be enough to make you squint — impeding vision and decreasing reaction time.

You’ll notice a rainbow effect (known as birefringence) occasionally on car windshields, safety glass, and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

Capability

Using devices with LCD/LED screens. Flying an aircraft.

Driving, fishing, sailing, hiking, skiing, and outdoor activities in general.

Not suitable for pilots as it affects reading flight instruments and seeing other objects in the sky.


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What is the best sunglasses
lens colour for me?

Discover must-have colours for your sunglass lens in our sunglasses collection. You can find lots of terrific styles with lenses in various shades of brown, grey and green-grey.

Brown

Provides natural contrast and helps block blue light and glare. This tint is a favourite of professional drivers and golfers.

Green-grey

Excellent lens for dusk and dawn. Not recommended for bright conditions. This tint is a favourite of professional tennis players and baseball players.

Grey lenses

Enjoy excellent performance in various conditions with this all-purpose lens. This tint is a favourite of water sports athletes.

Top 3 FAQs about polarized lenses

Polarized lenses allow your eyes to relax more and provide better vision than normal sunglasses in conditions where glare is present. They improve your visual clarity, contrast, and acuity in bright conditions, perfect for eliminating glare and relieving eye strain.

"There is more to sunglasses lens colour than it meets the eye. It affects your ability to perceive visible light, colours and contrasts. Consider when you will be wearing them and what you will be doing at the time is key to decide which colour lens is best for you.

Dark colours: brown and grey. Designed to filter the glare and alleviate eye strain in bright conditions, brown and grey sunglasses lenses are excellent for everyday use and most outdoor activities. Grey lenses help you maintain truer colour reproduction than brown or green-grey lenses, which offer superior contrast.

Light colour: green-grey. Perfect to use in tricky, flat-light conditions, making them a popular choice for most snow sports. Light, green-grey lenses provide better depth perception and contrasts, enhancing your visibility of objects by making your surroundings appear brighter.

Dark coloured polarized lenses are good for driving, with brown being the most popular choice. In some instances, it’s normal to notice a rainbow effect on car windshields and LCD screens every now and then.



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