UV rays coming from the sun are incredibly damaging to your eyes so proper eye protection is very important in all seasons. Choosing the proper sunglasses is not easy, with so many choices available on the market right now. There are many models and styles, making shopping for polarized sunglasses much like shopping for shoes.
Also the range of pricing in this market is wild. You could spend $5 and you could spend $1000 on a single set of glasses. What are the differences?
On top of the pricing extremes selecting the correct lenses for your needs is even more difficult. Among those choices are polarized lenses, which are incredibly popular and also more expensive than the normal UV protective lenses.
Polarized sunglass lenses offer superior protection from UV rays and are particularly suited for some activities. Their main advantage lies in their function.
Understanding Polarized Glasses
Sunlight is absorbed or reflected in many directions because of it bouncing off different surfaces. Sunlight reflected from a horizontal surface like water or roads is reflected back horizontally, producing a very strong glare on your eyes. This means that ground reflections cause a lot of interference with our vision on water or flat surfaces.
Normal sunglasses provide basic protection against both vertical and horizontal UV rays. However, they don’t diminish the glare from reflected horizontal rays.
Polarized glasses have a built-in, laminated filter that permits only vertical light rays to pass through, and almost totally blocks horizontal rays to eliminate glares. This is most noticeable when boating or fishing, since you can suddenly see through the surface, which was previously clouded by the reflections from the sun and sky above.
Who Needs Polarized Lenses?
The clients who find the greatest use for polarized lenses are those that work around or on the water, like fishermen and boaters. Because such lenses reduce glare, it is easier for fishermen to view deeper into sea for fish or any obstacle.
This can make a huge difference in fishing, since an angler can get a more accurate look at fish habitat. For a boater, this can mean the difference between life and death, since they are able to perceive underwater obstacles, and the more complex movement of under water currents.
These aren’t the only uses for polarized lenses. Consider driving, especially on road trips in the summer: horizontal rays of light are constantly refracted from the road, increasing eye fatigue and discomfort. You can instantly reduce this glare with polarized glasses.
Any activity that involves rapid changes in lighting conditions, such as hunting under the heavy canopy of a forest, may benefit from polarized glasses, since they also partially eliminate the glare of light directly on the glasses.
Pros and Cons of Polarized Lenses
A high quality pair of sunglasses should include polarized lenses. A polarized lens offers the following advantages over non-polarized lenses:
- Increases your visual comfort. Since your eyes aren’t constantly distracted by glare, it is easier to view objects in bright conditions.
- Much better clarity of vision and contrast for ground level objects and for seeing into water.
- Reduces your eyestrain. Always adjusting to the glare from reflections is taxing on your eyes and can lead to eye fatigue.
- Conveys colors better then regular tinted lenses.
- Diminishes reflections and glare.
- Polarized lenses make it difficult to view LCD screens on phones or other devices. They create the effect of making the images on the screen disappear at certain angles. Pilots or operators of heavy machines are discouraged and often prohibited from using polarized lenses. You might have difficulty operating an ATM with polarized glasses.
- Glasses with polarized lenses are generally more expensive than regular lenses. This additional investment is worth it for those who really do need polarized lenses, but might be an unnecessary expenditure for people who just need regular sunglasses.
Do Polarized Lenses Provide UV Protection?
The superior quality of polarized glasses gives you protection against UV rays. They offer different protection from direct UV radiation then regular sunglasses. Depending on your use for sunglasses, polarized lenses may offer no noticeable improvement over regular sunglasses.
Also, not all polarized lenses protect against harmful UV rays. Whenever you buy sunglasses, verify the UV protection level of the lenses, usually marked right on the glasses. All Coyote polarized sunglasses offer 100 percent UV protection.
Do You Need Polarized Lenses?
Perhaps the best way to decide if polarized sunglass lenses are for you is to weight the advantages and cons and depending on your lifestyle they may or may not be for you.
If you are a boater or angler then you should try a pair of polarized lenses immediately. On the other hand, if you’re only looking for increased sun protection then darker lenses might be fine for your needs.
Try a pair of Coyote polarized sunglasses today!