What Makes Polarized Sunglasses Special? or What are Polarized Sunglasses: How it Works, Benefits and Advantages
Polarized sunglasses have become a number one necessity for people who love and enjoy the great outdoors. Glares are the number one problem when it comes to these types of activities. That is why skiers, boaters, fishers, athletes, drivers, and even joggers find them very useful for helping them stay active and safe while out under the sun.
The harsh and blinding intensity of glares does not only impede one’s vision, but it is also harmful to the eyes. Wearing glasses with polarized lenses improves visibility and be more alert while on the go. Here are some points that make polarized glasses special.
Understanding Light Polarization
The light waves are electromagnetic waves that naturally vibrate and radiates as it travels in a linear direction. Such a light wave that is produced by a flame, light bulb or the sun that vibrates in multiple directions, horizontal or vertical, is what can be referred to as unpolarized light.
But through the process of polarization, these light waves can be transformed to vibrate in one direction or plane. Polarized light can be produced naturally or artificially through four methods, namely:
The glare that is seen off a nonmetallic surface is the light that was not absorbed or made it through. When remaining light waves that did not pass through the filter of the surface, it is reflected and becomes polarized. The waves are at this point matches the angle of the surface and vibrates in a uniform direction.
It is the glare or light that is bouncing off a smooth surface like water or snow. The intensity of a polarized light affects visibility and makes looking through the surface almost impossible even though the surface is completely clear. Poor visibility can be dangerous especially when you are outdoors. And, it is why you need polarized eyewear.
High-quality sunglasses are mostly made up of five layers that are designed to fix light issues and enhance vision. And, each layer has an important role to play.
- Tint to filter out colors and brightness
- Photochromic Lens darkens when exposed to UV lights
- Half-Silvered Surface to reflect some of the light
- Coating for Scratch Resistance for durability
- Coating for Anti-Reflective to reduce glares from the back of the lenses
- UV Coating protects corneas from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays
- Polarization to reduce glares
Sunglasses with polarized lenses help block some of the polarized light using a special chemical film that is applied to a transparent glass or plastic. The molecules of the chemical are lined up to filter some of the light that is passing through. Light waves that are aligned or in the same orientation as the microscopic filter is absorbed. It leaves the rest of the light to pass through the lens.
Most polarized sunglasses are designed only to allow vertical light rays to reach the eyes. Their purpose is to lessen the reflected glare or horizontal light waves that are bouncing off a surface of a car, the pavement or a lake. The view seen through these special glasses has lower brightness as a result. However, the images are more vibrant and with sharper details.
Aside from eliminating blinding and disruptive glares, polarized glasses also help enhance the colors that the wearer sees. The colors from the filter intensify certain colors for a better visual.
Benefits of Wearing Polarized Sunglasses
There are many advantages to using polarized eyewear. It protects the eyes from glares that are uncomfortable and makes it difficult to see. But, it can also do so much more.
- Provide Eye Comfort and Enhance Safety
By filtering the light, these special glasses block glares and its blinding reflections. It provides great comfort and safety while out on the road or in the water. There is no longer need to squint or look away to keep your eyes on the road or take in a view.
- Helps Reduce Strain and Prevent Other Health Issues
Straining eyes by squinting against a glare to get a better view can cause some health problems like headaches, irritation, redness, and fatigue. Wearing polarized lenses allows the eyes to rest which neutralizes these issues.
- Offers Better Vision and Visibility
Reducing glare helps to see better images that are sharper, more vibrant, and clear. It allows the wearer to take in more details of the surroundings without the harsh lights coming from a glare. It eliminates the reflection that one would otherwise see while trying to look directly right through the surface of the water.
Safety and Precautions to Consider
While wearing sunglasses are beneficial, there are also some circumstances or situation that are not advisable to wear them. The reason for this is because polarized lenses can make it difficult to see some objects. These sunglasses can greatly affect visibility and therefore should not be worn:
- When viewing LCD screens like cell phones, GPS devices, gauges, etc.
- Driving at night or in low lighting conditions
- Flying an Aircraft
- While Skiing Downhill
- As an Eye Protection from Tanning Lights, Looking Directly at the Sun, Arc welding, etc.
Polarized sunglasses are quite useful especially for people who love spending time outdoors. Like driving, fishing, playing sports, etc. One must always check out the details on the label when picking sunglasses. It should say right on the label whether it has UV protection and if it is polarized.
If you ensure that you have an authentic sunglasses, there are a few tests that can be easily done. All you need to do is to hold your glasses up over a reflective surface. Move it around gently. Upon observation, the intensity of the glare should change depending on the angle of the lens.
Sunglasses are more than just an accessory. It is a great tool that has so many benefits as well as help people stay active, enhance their outdoor experiences and stay safe. Protect your eyes from glares and enjoy the sights. Don’t let the bright sun keep you from doing what you love.