What Does Polarized Sunglasses Mean? – Everything You Need to Know

What Does Polarized Sunglasses Mean? - Everything You Need to Know


Polarized sunglasses are highly functional glasses with many advantages. While the term sounds familiar, you may have many questions, such as "What does polarized mean?" and "Do I need polarized lenses?".

If you find yourself asking these questions and wondering if polarized sunglasses are right for you, read on to find out more!

What are polarized sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses use an anti-glare filter to create a vertical opening that lets light through. Not only do they make colors easier to distinguish, but they also increase your visual clarity by reducing or eliminating glare from the sun.

Glare can be annoying and dangerous because it changes color and causes visual discomfort.

If you listened intently in physics class, you probably remember that light waves oscillate in different directions (up and down, left and right, or any diagonal in the middle) as they move through space. The direction in which these light waves move is called polarization:

1. Light oscillating up-down is known as vertical polarization

2. When light oscillates left-right it’s called horizontal polarization

3. Any diagonal oscillation of light is a combination of vertical and horizontal polarization

Sunlight is unpolarized, so it oscillates in different directions. Some of this light is horizontally polarized and some is vertically polarized. In most cases, it's a combination of the two. The important thing to know is that light reflected from perfectly horizontal surfaces (such as lakes, hot roads, or other shiny surfaces) is mostly horizontally polarized (hello annoying glare).

Let's get a better understanding of how polarized sunglasses work.

Polarized lenses have a special coating and are arranged horizontally on the lens. These molecules absorb horizontally polarized light before it reaches your eyes, but allow vertically polarized light to pass through. Since direct sunlight is unpolarized, polarizing filters won't completely block the light—but don't worry, polarized sunglasses contain additional coatings that can protect your eyes from direct sunlight.


On the other hand, the benefit of blocking horizontal reflections is that polarized lenses are worth the price. You'll notice this if you've ever looked at the water on a sunny day before and after wearing polarized lenses.

Polarized lenses also enhance the color contrast we see in sunlight. This attribute is very beneficial for athletes, anglers, and outdoorsmen who want greater depth perception to improve performance.

Polarized sunglasses are great for spending time in the water because they help eliminate light reflecting off surfaces. Likewise, polarized lenses are often used in ski goggles to improve performance and block glare reflected off snow.

How to tell if sunglasses are polarized

Considering all aspects of polarized lenses, you can determine if your sunglasses are polarized by pointing the lens toward a reflective surface, such as water or sidewalks. If you don't have blurred vision, you probably wear sunglasses with polarized lenses.

Another way to test your sunglasses is to put them on and look at your phone or tablet while it's on. If your screen is black, it means your sunglasses are polarized with a filter that blocks horizontally polarized light. To view the screen, all you need to do is rotate the device 90 degrees.

If you're curious about the difference between polarized sunglasses and regular sunglasses, we've got you covered!

The anti-glare coating on polarized lenses is the main difference between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are not necessarily better for eye health, as both polarized and non-polarized sunglasses have UV protection. Another difference between the two lenses is the visual quality each provides. Polarized sunglasses eliminate glare for a clearer view and less squinting when outdoors.

So, are polarized sunglasses better? While it's a matter of preference, in some cases, non-polarized sunglasses may be more beneficial than polarized glasses. Sometimes, non-polarized sunglasses are better for skiers because they allow you to differentiate between snow and ice. However, your vision may also be affected as they do not protect you from glare from wet surfaces. Polarized lenses also make it more difficult to look at electronic screens, which is why pilots are advised to wear non-polarized sunglasses when flying.

Should you buy polarized sunglasses?

Whether you're on the water or near the snow, polarized sunglasses offer many practical applications for everyday life. If you really want to protect your eyes from UV rays, owning a pair of polarized sunglasses is a breeze.

If your lifestyle involves spending a lot of time in the sun (even just sitting in a traffic jam), you may be exposed to many objects that reflect light horizontally, such as roads, puddles, cars, and buildings. There is a high risk of sudden blinding moments due to glare, which is very dangerous for driving (to say the least).

If you're an avid golfer or fisherman, polarized sunglasses are definitely a good choice. Even if you enjoy skiing, polarized lenses can be beneficial. If you want to make sure you can tell the difference between ice and snow, you can also try mirrored sunglasses.

In the table below, you'll see which sunglass lens color (polarized or non-polarized) best suits your lifestyle:


What are the advantages of polarized sunglasses?

There are many benefits of polarized lenses to consider when shopping for a pair of sunglasses. Anyone attending an event in direct sunlight or near water can greatly benefit from polarized glasses. Polarized lenses reduce glare, improve visual clarity, and greatly enhance the world around us with vibrant colors.

Among them, we should also mention:

Prescription sunglasses can also be polarized

• Many polarized sunglasses offer 100% UV protection (be sure to check product description)

• To some extent, polarized lenses can block blue light from entering the eye

• They also help reduce eye strain


If you find that outdoor activities often cause visual discomfort, you may be wearing the wrong sunglasses. You should use polarized sunglasses when you are near flat surfaces that reflect sunlight and cause glare.

Polarized lens technology reduces the light that affects your vision on sunny days. Whether you're spending the day at the lake or skiing on the exciting slopes, a wide range of sunglasses with polarized lenses is perfect for you. You'll find a variety of tinted lenses that are also best suited for specific outdoor activities, allowing you to mix and match frames and lenses to suit your various eye needs and personal style.

Before you start shopping for polarized sunglasses, read about the wide range of sunglasses and prescription styles that DL GLASSES offers.

Post time: Sep-16-2022

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