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Polarized Lenses Explained

July 11, 2018

Polarized Lenses Explained

Everyone should own a pair of quality polarized sunglasses. Polarized lenses do what no other lens or lens treatment can - block glare. In doing so, polarized lenses can enhance visual acuity, colour contrast and visual comfort, as well as block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB light.

We’ve all experienced glare in our daily lives… perhaps a day at the beach, driving in a car with the sun reflecting off the dashboard, roadway or on a boat with the sun illuminating the surface of the water. This intensely bright white glare is annoying and uncomfortable on the eyes, and it can become dangerous, as in the case when driving a vehicle.

Ordinary tinted sunglass lenses only cut down on the ambient light that reaches the eye, or, light transmittance. By their very nature, they cannot block glare. Polarized sunglasses do both!

 

What is Glare?

When light hits a surface, typically light waves are absorbed and or reflected in random directions. Some light travels in horizontal waves, while others travel in vertical waves.

However, if light hits a flat reflective surface at just the right angle (such as water, road surface or buildings), some of the light waves bounce off the surface resulting in reflected glare or partially ‘polarized’ light that interfere with your vision.

 

 

What is a Polarized Lens?

Polarized lenses are made by laminating a special sheet with many invisible vertical filters inside a plastic lens. This filter layer only allows light waves are travelling in a vertical direction to pass through the lens and enter the wearer's eyes. Glare is eliminated because the scattered intense horizontal light waves cannot bypass the vertical filter.

 

How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

Like Venetian blinds, the iodine crystals contained within the polarized filter in the lens block out horizontally polarized light waves, letting only (non-polarized) vertical light waves reach the eye. The person looking through the lens can still see clearly because the filter reduces the brightness and glare of light. This results in comfortable vision with no glare.

 

 

Why use Polarized Lens?

  • Reduce Glare, Improve Safety - Objects in the distance appear hazy, or nearby vehicles are reflecting light in a way that is nearly blinding. A polarized lens removes the effects of glare, and this improves eye comfort. Roadways and water sources are major culprits of glare and can cause danger to drivers who may already struggle with vision issues. Glare can be very uncomfortable for people with sensitive eyes, and even cause a migraine in patients who are prone to developing them.
  • Water Sports - You may notice that outdoor enthusiasts such as fishermen and boaters love polarized sunglasses. The special material makes it easier to see into the water. Without polarized lenses, the water’s surface simply reflects everything around it. This obscures the view into the water almost completely. Polarized lenses block this reflection and enable the wearer to see the contents of the water instead of the reflection of the sky.
  • Reduce Eyestrain - Another nasty side effect of glare; eyestrain can be relieved with polarized lens wear. Squinting to see clear images stresses the eyes and creates uncomfortable eye strain effects like redness, irritation, fatigue, and headaches. Polarized lenses neutralize this and allow eyes to feel more comfortable.
  • Better Vision - Wearing polarized lenses can reveal colours and images like never before.  You will see crisply and cleanly, with a level of detail that may astound.

 

There are a few circumstances where polarized lenses are not appropriate, such as night driving, piloting an airplane and certain snow sports. Certain older generation LCD screens on GPS’s may also not work efficiently. Most people will, however, find polarized lenses immensely helpful in improving the clarity and quality of their daytime vision in bright sunny conditions.

 

Love your eyes with Vision Works and Polarized lenses.