What’s the difference between polarized and non-polarized lenses?
That’s one of the most frequent questions we hear, and it’s an important question. Understanding the differences will help you to make an informed decision about your next pair of sunglasses and ultimately to choose the best pair of shades for your eyes. Check out some of the most popular sunglasses styles here!
As sunglasses experts, we will talk about the differences as well as some common myths that people often hear. Whether it’s men's sunglasses or women’s sunglasses, we’re going to break down the argument, polarized vs non-polarized sunglasses. Let’s start with the basics. Check out our store if you want to buy sunglasses online and check out our pop up shops!
The sun’s rays don’t just line up nicely in one direction; they reflect everywhere. When a ray bounces off a flat surface, the reflected light that shines back at your eyes is magnified. This magnification is called glare, and it reduces your depth perception and distorts the way you see colors. When the glare is particularly bright, it can even momentarily blind you.
Regular, non-polarized sunglass lenses reduce the amount of light that can come through the lens both horizontally and vertically. Polarized lenses, on the other hand, allow horizontal waves through the lenses but blocks vertical waves. Since only some of the waves are getting through with polarized lenses, you don’t experience glare.
Some people think that the darkness of the lens tint makes a difference in UV coverage, but dark tints don’t offer more protection from UV rays. Polarization makes the difference. Be sure to look into our men's sunglasses and women's sunglasses.
Did you know that your pupil widens when you’re wearing sunglasses? This is because your eyes are attempting to compensate for less light. If your lenses offer poor UV protection, you could be causing more damage than you would if you weren’t wearing sunglasses at all. Without sunglasses on, your pupils remain narrow in order to filter more light. Increased exposure to the sun’s rays can cause permanent damage to your eyes, including macular degeneration and cataracts.
Non-polarized lenses don’t offer 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, but polarized lenses do. They also offer almost complete protection against horizontal glare from the sun. This allows you to see with more defined vision, even under extremely bright conditions. Horizontal rays are also an issue while driving because the light reflects off of flat surfaces like the hood of your car. Non-polarized lenses can’t counter the effects of horizontal polarization.
Although polarized lenses provide superior UV protection, they may reduce the visibility of images on LCD (liquid crystal display) screens. You may notice that when you’re wearing polarized lenses you have a harder time reading cell phone screens, GPS device screens, and other flat LCD screens.
For most people, polarized lenses are more comfortable than non-polarized lenses. This is because the reduced glare means you don’t have to squint or strain when your eyes start to feel fatigued. Be sure to check out some of our mirror polarized sunglasses, as well as the different colors they come in (gold, silver, blue, red, green, and brown)
If you’re going to be out on a boat or at the beach or skiing on sunny slopes, it’s a very good idea to get polarized lenses. In these situations, the reflected rays can be incredibly intense, and it’s possible to do serious damage to your eyes if you’re not careful. For other applications, talk with your eye doctor or discuss your situation with us. We’ll be happy to help you. Be sure to check out our guide to the sunglasses trends of fall 2017.