What Are Polarized Sunglasses?

Uses | How they work | How to spot polarized lenses | When can I use them? | Advantages | Disadvantages | UV vs Polarization | Are they right for you?

Learn what polarized sunglasses are good for and what the difference is between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses.

Polarized sunglasses are high-functioning eyewear with many benefits for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’ve found yourself asking these questions and wondering whether or not polarized sunglasses are good for you, read on to find out more.

What are polarized sunglasses for?

Polarized sunglasses block out the horizontal blinding glare that causes you to squint. Light from the sun hits horizontal surfaces and is reflected back from them which causes glare. Polarized sunglasses reduce this glare using polarised  filter to create vertical openings for light to pass through.

Not only do they make colours more distinguishable, but they also add clarity to your vision by reducing bright sunlight. Glare from reflected light can be annoying and sometimes dangerous as it alters colours perception and causes visual discomfort, so wearing polarized lenses can help you to see more clearly.

How do polarized lenses work?

Polarized lenses have opposite layers aligned at the opposite polars. These molecules absorb horizontal light before it reaches your eyes but allow verticallight to pass through.

Polarized sunglass lenses also contain other coatings that protect your eyes from the harmful effects of direct sunlight. 

The benefits of blocking horizontally reflected light, such as reducing eye strain, make polarized lenses worth the investment. You’ll notice this if you’ve ever looked at the water’s surface on a sunny day before and after putting on polarized lenses. 

Usually, you look at the surface of water on a sunny day and see the light reflecting off the top of the water, but once you put on polarised sunglasses you can no longer see this shine on the surface.

How to tell if sunglasses are polarized

With the qualities of polarized lenses in mind, you can determine whether your sunglasses are polarized by looking through the lenses in front of reflective surfaces, such as water or pavement.

Another way to test your sunglasses is to put them on and look at your phone or tablet when switched on. All you have to do to see your screen is rotate your device 90 degrees. If your screen is black, your sunglasses are polarized with a filter that blocks horizontal polarized light. Please note this does not work on all screens, only older models, and the best way to tell is by putting them to the glare test as outlined above.

When can I use polarized lenses?

There’s a high risk of experiencing sudden blinding moments as a result of glare, which is very dangerous for activities like driving. Polarized sunglasses make life easier if you’re an outdoor sports lover, playing golf, or fishing

The technology of polarized lenses reduces the light that affects your eyesight on a sunny day. Whether you enjoy a day on the lake or s, there are a variety of sunglasses with polarized lenses that will be perfect for you.

What are the advantages of polarized sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses can benefit anyone participating in activities under direct sunlight or near the water. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare, improving visual clarity and enhancing the world around us with vibrant colours. 

Polarized lenses can also enhance the colour contrast we see when exposed to the sun. This attribute benefits athletes, fishing enthusiasts, and anyone who loves the outdoors and wants greater depth perception to enhance their performance.

Polarized sunglasses are perfect for time spent by the water, as they help eliminate the light that reflects from the surface.

Other added benefits include:

Many polarized sunglasses offer 100% UV protection, but always check the product description to ensure this.You can also add your prescription to polarized sunglasses to see clearly and protect your eyes simultaneously.

Are there any disadvantages to wearing polarized glasses?

While it is a matter of preference, there are some situations where non-polarized lenses might be more beneficial than polarized sunglasses. For example, polarized sunglasses are not recommended in the aviation environment. As it is more difficult to see electronic screens, so pilots are advised to wear non-polarized sunglasses while flying.


Polarized glasses are perfect for those who love outdoor activities. They make a great long-term investment for anyone looking to up their performance in a range of sports.

What is the difference between UV blocking and polarization?

Regarding protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, there are two options: UV blocking and polarization. While both types of lenses offer some protection, they work in different ways. UV-blocking lenses prevent UV rays from penetrating the lens material, while polarized lenses reduce glare by blocking horizontal light waves.

It’s important to note that not all polarized lenses offer UV protection, so make sure you’re wearing polarized sunglasses that also block UV rays. Regardless of which type of lens you choose, wearing sunglasses is an important part of protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Should you wear polarized sunglasses?

Regardless of whether you spend time outdoors or not, a polarized lens offers many advantages for everyday life. Having a pair of go-to polarized sunglasses is a no-brainer if you are serious about protecting your eyes from UV light. 

These lenses are amazing for providing optimum eye comfort and most polarized sunglasses lovers agree that once you go polarized you will never go back!

However, if you need to view strictly digital screens for your job, for example, if you are a pilot, you should not wear polarized sunglasses. If you are still determining whether polarized sunglasses are right for your lifestyle, contact our online opticians for advice.

If you’re interested in learning about other lenses, read about reflective lenses, Transitions® lenses, and much more. Once you decide which lenses are the best fit for you, have a look at the variety of sunglasses and prescription styles available at SmartBuyGlasses.

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