Polarized Sunglasses vs. Regular Sunglasses: What’s the Difference
Whether you’re spending a day on the beach or hitting the slopes, protecting your eyes from the sun is crucial. Sunglasses have long been a go-to solution for shielding our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, but not all sunglasses are created equal. Polarized sunglasses have gained popularity in recent years thanks to their ability to provide superior protection and reduce glare. In this article, we’ll explore what polarized sunglasses are and how they differ from regular sunglasses. We’ll also discuss the benefits of using it and how to tell the difference between polarized and regular sunglasses.
What Are Polarized Sunglasses?
Polarized sunglasses are a type of eyewear that contains a special filter designed to block glare and reduce the amount of light that enters your eyes. This filter is made up of a chemical compound that is coated onto the lenses. The chemical compound is oriented in a specific direction, which allows it to block light waves that are oriented in the same direction, such as horizontal light waves. As a result, polarized sunglasses are effective at reducing glare from reflective surfaces like water, snow, and glass.
How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?
They work by blocking horizontal light waves. When light reflects off a flat surface, such as water or snow, it becomes polarized and travels in a horizontal direction. This creates a harsh glare that can be extremely distracting and potentially dangerous. Polarized sunglasses contain a filter that blocks these horizontal light waves, allowing only vertically oriented light to pass through the lenses. This results in a clearer, more vivid image and significantly reduces glare.
Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses
Apart from their fashionable advantage, these sunglasses also offer several benefits including:
- Reduced Glare – One of the most significant benefits of polarized sunglasses is their ability to reduce glare. Glare can be especially problematic when driving, boating, or participating in outdoor activities like fishing or skiing. These sunglasses reduce glare by blocking horizontal light waves and allowing only vertically oriented light to pass through the lenses. This creates a more comfortable and less distracting viewing experience.
- Improved Vision in Bright Conditions – When you’re out in the sun, your eyes are exposed to a significant amount of bright, intense light. This causes discomfort and potentially damages your eyes. Polarized sunglasses reduce the amount of light that enters your eyes, making it easier to see in bright conditions without squinting or straining your eyes.
- Enhanced Color Perception – It also enhances color perception. When glare is reduced, colors appear more vibrant and vivid. This can be especially beneficial when engaging in outdoor activities, as it allows you to see your surroundings more clearly and accurately.
- Increased Comfort and Decreased Eye Strain – Wearing polarized sunglasses can also increase your overall comfort and reduce eye strain. Without the harsh glare, your eyes won’t have to work as hard to focus, which can reduce eye strain and fatigue. This is recommended for those who spend long hours outdoors in bright conditions.
What Are Regular Sunglasses?
Regular sunglasses, on the other hand, have a basic tinted lens that reduces the amount of light that enters your eyes. The lens may be made of glass, plastic, or polycarbonate, and it may have different levels of tint, from light to dark. Regular sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but they do not offer the same level of glare reduction as polarized sunglasses.
How to Tell the Difference Between Polarized and Regular Sunglasses
There are some simple methods for telling the difference between polarized and regular sunglasses, so you can make an informed decision about which type of eyewear is best for your needs.
Examining the Lenses
This is the easiest way to tell the difference between polarized and regular sunglasses is to examine the lenses. Polarized sunglasses typically have a label or sticker indicating that they are polarized. They also often have a distinct tint that may vary depending on the brand and type of lens.
Using a Polarized Light Source
Hold your sunglasses in front of the polarized light source and rotate them 90 degrees. If the sunglasses are polarized, they will block some or all of the light.
Testing for Glare Reduction
You can also test for glare reduction by looking at a reflective surface, such as a body of water or a shiny car. Look at the surface with regular sunglasses and then with polarized sunglasses. If the surface appears less bright and more comfortable to look at through the polarized lenses, they are likely polarized.
Differences Between Polarized and Regular Sunglasses
The primary difference between polarized and regular sunglasses is the lens design. Polarized sunglasses have a polarizing film that filters out horizontal light waves, while regular sunglasses have a basic tinted lens that reduces the amount of light that enters your eyes. Here are some of the other differences between polarized and regular sunglasses:
- Glare Reduction: Polarized sunglasses offer superior glare reduction compared to regular sunglasses. They filter out reflected light from surfaces like water, snow, and roads, which can cause eye strain and fatigue.
- Visual Clarity: These sunglasses improve visual clarity by enhancing the contrast and colors of the objects you see. They reduce the haze and distortion caused by glare, making it easier to see details and textures.
- Cost: Polarized sunglasses are generally more expensive than regular sunglasses. The polarizing film and the specialized lens design add to the cost of production.
- Compatibility: Polarized may not be suitable for all activities. They can interfere with the visibility of LCD screens, such as those on smartphones, GPS devices, and car dashboards. This is because the polarizing film blocks the horizontal light waves that these screens emit. Regular sunglasses do not have this issue.
When it comes to choosing the right sunglasses, there are many options to consider. One important factor to keep in mind is whether or not the sunglasses are polarized. While men’s polarized sunglasses offer a range of benefits. They can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from regular sunglasses.