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What are Polarized Sunglasses?

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A woman sits on a chair on a beach while she is wearing polarized sunglasses.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, consider investing in a pair of polarized lenses. These specialized lenses are treated with a chemical that blocks certain types of light from passing through, reducing glare and eye strain. 

This feature makes them an excellent choice for anyone who wants clear vision and eye safety outdoors.

Consult with your optometrist to see if polarized lenses are the right option for you!

How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work? 

Polarized lenses are a marvel of modern eyewear technology. These lenses work by blocking out certain light waves, preventing eye discomfort.

When you look at an object, light reflects off it and enters your eyes. However, this light is often scattered in different directions before it reaches your eyes, which is why you can see objects from different angles and distances.

When light reflects off smooth, flat, or highly reflective surfaces like water, metal, or snow, it becomes much brighter and more intense, creating glare that can be uncomfortable or dangerous. This is where polarized lenses come in.

Polarized lenses use a special chemical coating that filters horizontal light and prevents it from entering your eyes, allowing only vertically polarized light to pass through, reducing glare.

What Are the Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses? 

Polarized sunglasses are a popular choice of eyewear for minimizing reflected glare from surfaces such as water, snow, and glass. They are particularly helpful when clear vision is essential for avoiding hazards.

When you wear polarized glasses, you’ll immediately notice a difference in how you see the world around you. 

Harsh glare from the sun can be a major problem when driving, boating, or engaging in other outdoor activities. But polarized lenses help to filter out this glare, making it easier to see clearly and reducing the strain on your eyes. You’ll also notice that colours are more vivid, visual contrast is improved, details are clearer, and light is less harsh.

Other benefits include:

  • Clearer vision in bright light
  • Increased contrast
  • Minimal colour distortion
  • Reduced glare 
  • Reduced reflections
  • Reduced eye strain

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a beach lover, or someone who loves spending time outside, investing in a pair of polarized sunglasses can be a smart decision for your eye health.

A young woman turning back towards the camera and smiling, while wearing polarized sunglasses.

Types of Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized lenses are available as prescription or non-prescription sunglasses or eyeglasses. If you need corrective lenses, you can benefit from the protection and comfort polarized lenses provide in your everyday glasses. Polarized lenses are a versatile and practical option for various activities and environments.

This chemical process can be applied to the surface of the lenses only (for less costly sunglasses) or sandwiched between 2 layers of lens materials (for more expensive sunglass brands). A high-quality pair of sunglasses will almost always have polarized lenses.

One of the best things about these filters is they are essentially invisible because they’re built into the lenses themselves, meaning you don’t even realize they’re there. 

Choosing the Right Pair of Polarized Sunglasses

When choosing the right pair of polarized sunglasses, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, don’t assume all polarized sunglasses offer UV protection. While many polarized lenses provide some level of protection, it’s not always guaranteed. 

To ensure you get the best protection possible, look for sunglasses that specifically state they provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. This will help to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause damage over time. 

Another factor to consider when choosing polarized sunglasses is the level of polarization. Some lenses are more polarized than others, which can impact how effectively they reduce glare. If you plan to wear your sunglasses while driving or during other activities where glare can be a problem, look for lenses with a high level of polarization. 

Finally, don’t forget about style and fit. While it’s important to prioritize protection and functionality, you also want to choose sunglasses you feel comfortable wearing and complement your personal style. Take the time to try on different types and find a pair that feels good on your face and looks great too.

Ways to Protect Your Vision in Winnipeg

Overall, polarized sunglasses are an excellent investment if you need reliable eye protection against glare. Whether driving, fishing, skiing, or simply spending time outside, these lenses can help ensure your vision remains crystal clear and free from distractions.

Check out the many brands of glasses available at View Pointe Vision + Style, and don’t forget to schedule your next eye exam with our friendly and knowledgeable eye care team. Book an appointment today.

Written by Dr. Janelle Driedger

Dr. Driedger was raised in Manitoba but educated in Tennessee. A southern belle at heart, she has a knack for treating her patients like family. Dr. Driedger is a certified “eye-nerd” and relishes the opportunity to collect anything eye related. She has an eye for style and will happily show you her collection of fashionable eyewear. In optometry school, Dr. Driedger was voted “most likely to have a pink office” and loves the fact that her classmates’ predictions came true when she opened View Pointe in 2019.
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