Polarized Sunglasses, What Exactly Are They?

  • BY Matthew Surrence

wearing polarized sunglasses, Zenni optical

Polarized lenses are perfect for blocking out the reflective glare that comes from other cars, windshields, wet roads  and even your own dashboard.  They’re  also great for people who enjoy water sports, such as fishing or sailing, since they eliminate the  glare coming from the surface of the water and make it easier to see below the surface.

What Are Polarized Lenses 

Polarized light  is created when light is reflected off horizontal surfaces such as roads, water, or snow. We are able to keep this light from affecting our vision by wearing  lenses with a vertically oriented filter.  The filter only allows vertical light to pass through. Since the  glare is  horizontal, it’s blocked out and allows us to see more clearly.

Who Should Avoid Wearing Polarized Lenses

While polarized lenses are a great fix for certain people, there are a few cases where they’re not recommended. Pilots shouldn’t wear polarized lenses because they may obstruct the view of distant planes. In addition, polarized lenses may not be the best option for skiers and snowboarders since head movement can cause changes in brightness and make it hard to judge snow conditions. Since liquid- crystal displays are also polarized, the use of these lenses can make LCD’s difficult to view as well.

How To Check If Your Lenses Are Polarized

If you’re unsure if your sunglasses are polarized, here’s a simple test to check:

  1. Hold your sunglasses up to a computer screen, which has an anti-glare coating similar to the anti-glare coating on a polarized lens. 
  2. Angle your sunglasses about 60 degrees, with one side of the frame at 10 o’clock and the other at 4 o’clock. 
  3. If the lenses are polarized, they will turn black.

Now that you understand the workings of a polarized lens, head over to Zenni and check out our selection of polarized lenses starting at $32.99.  We also offer polarized clip-ons as an add-on to many of our frames starting at just $3.95.

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