How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

What is all the buzz about polarized sunglasses and how do they work? Many people are interested in polarized sunglasses but are clueless about what they actually do. Here is a simple explanation: Light typically scatters, but when it is reflected on a flat surface, it travels in a more uniform direction becoming polarized. Unfortunately, your eyes can’t tell the difference between reflected light and random light in which this causes glare and reduced visibility.

How Polarized Lenses Reduce Glare and Protect Your Vision?


Polarized lenses contain a filter that blocks this dangerous light reflection, reducing glare. The light that lines up in one direction, is the only light let through. For instance, when you are driving, the polarized sunglasses will remove most of the reflected light only allowing the random light in so you can see clearly without having any additional glare.

If you would like to see the difference, find two different polarized lenses and hold them up to the light. Now rotate one of the lenses. If they are polarized, one should be darker and the other lighter. The first lens is removing light and is not lined up like the polarized lens. When both were at 90 degrees to each other, the first lens takes out all the light except for the light flowing in one direction. The second lens removes the light that was transmitted by the first lens and the lens looks dark.

Where are they being used?
Now, more people who spend quite a bit of time outdoors have discovered the benefits of polarized lenses. For years, polarized sunglasses have been popular with boaters, fisherman, skiers, and snowmobilers who need to reduce reflected glare from the water, or slow for optimal safety and performance. More drivers are becoming interested in polarized sunglasses because they can reduce the light reflection from flat surfaces like the car hood or road. Some light-sensitive people, including post-cataract surgery patients and those continually exposed to bright light through windows, may also choose to wear polarized sunglasses indoors.

Polarized sunglasses equipped with progressive lenses are a wise choice for anyone who spends a large amount of time outdoors. Polarized sunglasses equipped with photochromic lenses are a wise choice for anyone who is frequently in and out or spends a significant amount of time in the sun on any given day. For the best comfort and performance with any polarized lenses, contact Vision Associates about having an anti-reflective coating applied to the backside of the lenses to reduce reflections.

Whether you spend a significant amount of time on the water, on the road, or in the snow, polarized lenses may be the best choice to safely enjoy your life outdoors.

To learn more about polarized lenses or schedule an eye exam, please contact Vision Associates at 419-578-2020.

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