Premium water sports-oriented brands, like Maui Jim and Costa, use polarized lenses for the specific purpose of reducing glare that comes off the water. And the well known drivewear brand Serengeti only uses polarized lenses for their high tech range of driving sunglasses. But polarized lenses aren’t only for anglers and racecar drivers. Our most popular polarized sunglasses on FramesDirect.com are Ray-Bans – a fashionable choice for comfortable and safe eyes in bright light conditions. Polarized sunglasses are perfect for enhancing your vision as you go about your everyday activities.
Polarized lenses have many benefits on water and on land. They are perfect for outdoor recreation where polarization reduces painful glare. They can help anglers discern fish in the water, improve vision while piloting a boat, or even improve your tennis or golf game. When you're driving a car, polarized sunglasses can reduce glare coming from the surface of the road, the hood of the car, and reflections from other cars. With reduced or eliminated glare and enhanced contrast, polarized lenses make it easy to discern a ball flying through the air or a hazard on the road. They eliminate the harsh glare from the sun and help enhance colors and contrast, leaving a remarkably crisp field of vision. Not only do polarized lenses reduce eye strain and make for safer driving and boating, they can also improve visual clarity and enhance perception of colors.
Remember that although most polarized lenses also come equipped with ultraviolet protection, polarization by itself does not protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, “polarization is unrelated to UV protection, so you still need to ensure UV absorption of the lenses.” Fortunately, most quality glasses that feature polarized lenses, also come with protection against ultraviolet rays.
How do polarized lenses work and what does polarized mean? Polarized sunglasses work by realigning incoming horizontal light. Horizontally reflected light from a surface like a road or a body of water is more intense than more scattered light and results in an uncomfortable glare. The special laminated filter in polarized lenses contains vertical stripes, breaking down glare like a venetian blind. Allowing only vertically oriented light to pass through results in clearer, safer vision and more comfortable eyes. The difference between polarized sunglasses and normal sunglasses is that polarized lenses selectively eliminate the wavelengths of light that cause glare, while normal sunglasses absorb all light wavelengths equally.
Essentially, there are two types of polarized lenses: 0.75 mm lenses and 1.1 mm lenses. The different thickness of the polarizing film used can improve the durability of the lenses, since it is placed on the outside of the glass and protected with a scratch-resistant coating. The thinner, 0.75 mm lenses are good for most casual sports without risk of impact. The 1.1 mm layer is more expensive and provides additional strength and scratch resistance than the thinner film. The thicker film, however, does not make glasses of this type any better when it comes to glare reduction.
Be advised that polarized lenses can affect your ability to see some liquid crystal displays (LCDs), light-emitting diode (LED) displays, as well as phone and tablet screens. With today’s technological advances, that could mean the inability to read your GPS screen, technology screens in your vehicle, digital displays, and more in your car, motorcycle, boat, or airplane. In addition, some motorcycle polycarbonate windshields could produce strange colors with polarized lenses. You could also have trouble seeing gas pump readouts and auto teller machines.
Wearing sunglasses allows you to show your fashion sense and express your personality. But for your eye health, choose sunglasses with UV protection and polarized lenses. They’re available in a variety of and you can get polarized lenses with fashionable features such as gradient tint or mirrored coating. Polarized options are also available on photochromic sunglasses, which means the tint darkens in the sun.
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