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Polarized vs Non-Polarized Sunglasses: How To Choose Sunglasses

Posted by Tmbr on

You only get one set of eyes, which is why you should do everything within your power to protect them. One of the smartest choices you can make for eye protection is investing in a quality pair of shades to block harmful solar rays. When browsing between designs, you’ll likely have to make the choice between polarized sunglasses or a model that doesn’t have that distinction. Here’s everything you need to know about the two types of glasses and how to choose the right option for your lifestyle.

What To Look for in All Sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses is much more than a designer fashion accessory. While you should find a pair that meshes well with your personal sense of style, there are some considerations to take into account. Make sure the lenses are large enough to completely cover your eyes so you minimize the amount of outside light entering your field of view. The key factor to consider is protection from the different types of ultraviolet radiation. Look for glasses that clearly state the percentage of blockage and search out lenses with a 100% rating.

You now know what matters in your sunglasses, but it’s equally important to learn about the factors that have no effect on protecting your eyes from sunlight. Darker lenses might work better for you in brighter situations, but they have no bearing on the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching your eyes. The same goes for coloration because that’s essentially an aesthetic coating. One of the biggest characteristics to ignore when shopping is price, because you can get the same amount of ultraviolet protection from a $10 pair of glasses that blocks 100% of UV rays as you would from a $250 model.

How Polarized Sunglasses Work

When light emits from a source, it scatters in all directions, including when it bounces off an object. If the various waves come together in multiple planes, the resulting light is called polarized. This effect can happen naturally, such as when sunlight reflects off of a lake’s surface, or artificially such as a 3D movie. A polarized lens is treated with a specialized film that only lets one plane through and blocks everything else. In the case of 3D glasses, one eye blocks horizontal rays while the other cancels out vertical light, creating a depth of field.

What Polarized Sunglasses Can Do

If you’ve never worn a pair of polarized shades, you’ll immediately notice the difference when you put on your first pair. Glare from reflected light instantly disappears, which leaves you with a much clearer field of view. Since you’ll only be seeing luminous energy aligned in one direction, you could realize a number of different benefits:

  • Fuller perception of color
  • Clearer details
  • A more comfortable image
  • Minimal eye strain

Who Benefits Most From Polarized Lenses?

Since reduced glare is one of the biggest benefits of polarized glasses, people who deal with this problem should consider investing in a pair. The clearer view is exceptionally beneficial to drivers who might otherwise miss road obstructions hidden in the light bouncing off of the road. They can even help you see better through your own windshield and read reflective road signage more accurately.

Outdoor sports enthusiasts also make up a significant portion of the polarized glasses market. A clearer view can help golfers, boaters, fishermen, cyclists and other adventure seekers notice the minute details necessary to make quick decisions. Many photographers also use these types of sunglasses to get a better idea of a scene before composing a picture.

Drawbacks of Polarized Models

While polarized lenses do have a number of benefits, you should also know about the disadvantages so you can make an informed decision. These types of sunglasses don’t work well with LCD screens, which means you might not be able to read your phone or tablet while you’re wearing them. This might be a mild annoyance to some people, but it could create a dangerous situation for pilots and other professionals who depend on displays for up-to-the-second information.

It can also be difficult to tell between different shades of white when wearing polarized glasses, which is why you might want to leave them at home when you’re driving during the winter if you live in a snowy area. Skiers and snowboarders should avoid these types of sunglasses because of their tendency to make dangerous ice less visible on the slopes.

One of the biggest drawbacks of polarized lenses is more of an issue with the people who buy them instead of the glasses themselves. Some customers see a sticker touting a blockage of polarizing light and ignore other factors about the sunglasses. While they will reduce strain on your eyes and eliminate glare, polarization itself does nothing to suppress ultraviolet radiation. For full protection, insist on a lens that offers complete blockage of both UVA and UVB rays.

Choose Your Perfect Pair

As you choose between non-polarized sunglasses and their polarized counterparts, it’s important to keep in mind that one isn’t always better than the other, they just do different things. For the vast majority of daily users, a set of quality polarized lenses offers the perfect combination of glare reduction and protection from ultraviolet radiation. At TMBR, we have a full lineup of men’s and women’s wooden glasses complete with polarized and impact-resistant lenses, so you can turn to us to find the perfect pair. To learn more about our lineup of products or place an order, use our online contact form and get in touch with us today.

Polarized Sunglasses Infographic