You are currently viewing Polarized Lenses: What Are They, and Why Are They Useful?

Polarized Lenses: What Are They, and Why Are They Useful?

Summer recreation is in full swing, and we are spending more time outdoors. Thus, the inevitable search for the perfect pair of sunglasses ensues. You probably hear the words polarized lenses get thrown around a lot when it comes to summer eye safety. But what exactly are they?

What are they?

First of all, UV protection does not mean polarized. Sunglasses with polarized lenses will specifically note it—just like UV protection. With that said, let’s dive deeper into the difference.

Polarized lenses are coated with a chemical, and because of the way the molecules line up, only certain direct rays of sunlight reach your eyes. To simplify, polarized lenses block the sun’s scattered rays that bounce off smooth surfaces. Basically, like blinds, they only let in vertical light while blocking horizontal.

Why are they useful?

This level of filtering has several advantages. For instance, polarized lenses reduce eye strain and glare. They also improve clarity and allow you to see better contrast.

Seeing more details and less glare are great for certain outdoor activities. For example, polarized lenses are nice on the water. The crisp, clear result lets the wearer see into the water better. Shapes and varying shades are easier to detect with the light-filtering lenses.

Sometimes polarized lenses are a good option for daylight driving. However, they can react oddly with certain window tints and LCD screens, which can be on some dashboards. In general, they are not meant for low-light situations.

Best advice if you aren’t sure? Talk to your eye care provider.


We’ve reviewed the basics of polarized lenses.  But if you want to ask more come see us!

Plus, starting with an eye exam is a good way to find those elusive perfect sunglasses! For more on eye care and eye health, keep reading our blogs.