Thanks to that big ole’ helium mass in the sky, polarized sunglasses will always serve a purpose – combatting sun glare.
When you’re surrounded by the glistening ocean while fishing for hours on end, smacking a long drive right under the fierce sun during a quick 9 holes, or hitting the slopes on some fresh and blindingly white powder, you’ll see EXACTLY what challenges glare brings to the table.
We encounter sun glare all too frequently but don’t address it like the annoyance that is it. Luckily, the simple solution to this is wearing polarized sunglass lenses.
To quickly determine if your sunglasses have polarized lenses, perform this simple polarization test:
Hold the pair of sunglasses away from your face and look through one of the lenses at a reflective surface (make sure there is a good light source present). You will immediately see a decrease in reflections and shadowing. Then, rotate the glasses a full 90 degrees and notice if the reflections are once again appearing. If you do see the change, your sunglasses are polarized (and ready for action).
What makes polarized lenses so helpful?
Unlike ordinary sunglasses that are designed to eliminate the polarized light in the horizontal plane, polarized lenses filter out glare and transmit only the light that you need, providing increased visual clarity and reduced eyestrain (see diagram below). Believe it or not, horizontal planes emit just as much reflected light as desirable light, so to really maximize your own performance, polarized lenses are really the way to go.
Noting the image above, the best further explanation of polarization is to think of a polarized lens as a Venetian blind. The blind blocks light at certain angles while allowing light to transmit through selected angles. The sunglass feature that enables this is an anti-glare coating that is embedded within the middle of the lens material, which is invisible to the naked eye. Besides removing glare, some other benefits of polarized lenses include enhanced contrast, improved visual acuity, and increased safety against the sun (UV protection).
Polarized lenses serve a purpose in every outdoor activity. From the extreme athlete, to the guy that walks his dogs in the park, there are useful properties of these lenses that make it easier on your eyes to perform. We could list out the all benefits of polarized sunglasses, but actually understanding how polarized sunglass lenses are truly superior will only be fully realized when you try a pair on and put them to use.
Some stores & online retailers to check out: