Polarized Eyewear

Polarized eyewear has been around for more than 50 years. Originally, people only wore polarized lenses when participating in water and snow sports. Now, the benefits are becoming more widespread.

Polarization of lenses:

  • Improves vision outdoors 
  • Reduces glare 
  • Enhances colors
  • Increases contrast 
  • Reduces eyestrain

Even prescription eyewear can be polarized for better visual acuity.

What are polarized glasses?

Polarized eyewear is designed to protect eyes from the sun and improve vision outdoors. Polarization works by eliminating the light waves that create glare. When light hits a surface, it produces a reflection, causing glare. Light that hits ice, water, and other flat surfaces is reflected horizontally, creating a glare that is so intense it reduces visual sharpness and depth perception. While traditional eyewear reduces reflected light and glare, polarized lenses actually absorb horizontal light waves to eliminate glare.

Why are polarized glasses used?

Outdoors, the glare produced by light reflecting on surfaces causes us to squint. Glare also distorts colors and alters depth perception. Polarized eyewear cuts glare and enhances vision, reducing eyestrain from squinting and making it easier to see outside. This is extremely helpful for athletes, particularly those playing ball sports like golf and tennis.

Polarized eyewear is also useful for everyday outdoor tasks and activities. For example, polarized lenses can make it easier to distinguish colors while driving, and polarized lenses make it easier to read LCD displays and digital screens on everything from ATM machines to cell phones and GPS devices.

Benefits of polarized glasses

If you are not wearing polarized lenses, you may not be seeing as clearly as you think. Here are just a few of the benefits of wearing polarized eyewear: 

  • Eliminates or reduces glare 
  • Improves contrast vision and depth perception 
  • Enhances color perception 
  • Provides UV protection for the eyes 
  • Improves visual clarity on the water and on snow 
  • Reduces squinting and eyestrain

If you participate in outdoor activities, talk your optometrist about using polarized lenses.


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