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How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

Polarized lenses offer excellent protection from UV rays and the sun, not only blocking the light but reducing or eliminating glare too. But how do they work, and what’s the difference from regular sunglasses? We delve into the science behind polarized lenses, why they vary in cost so dramatically and discuss why you might want to consider a pair for your next prescription or sunglasses purchase.

Understanding the Basics: Glare

  •     What is glare?

What is glare?

Polarized lenses reduce glare. To understand how they do this, you first need to have an understanding of what glare is. When light hits a surface it’s either absorbed or bounces off, with the light waves reflecting either horizontally or vertically. Vertical light waves are absorbed, but the horizontal waves become polarized, and it’s this that causes glare that’s very intense to the human eye.

How Do Polarized Lenses Work? The science

  •     The science
  •     Polarized lenses vs. regular sunglasses

The science

If we understand that glare is caused by horizontal light waves, then it becomes easier to understand how polarized lenses work. By laminating the lenses with imperceptible vertical lines made of a special chemical, you create a barrier to the horizontal waves, therefore eliminating the glare.

Polarized lenses vs. regular sunglasses

While normal sunglasses provide a certain level of protection from UV rays and brightness, they don’t block glare. Only polarized lenses can do that. In addition, polarized lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, provide advanced color contrast, and make images appear clearer and more defined. Thanks to this, they also offer better protection against eye strain.

How Do Polarized Lenses Work for You?

  •     Polarized lenses in practice
  •     Price variations

Polarized lenses in practice

Squinting against glare can have many unwanted side effects. Headaches and eye strain are two of the most common problems experienced. Polarized lenses are a great choice for driving, for those who work or play on the water, and when spending time in snowy conditions. Because they enhance visual acuity—in other words, you can determine what you’re seeing more accurately—they can also improve reaction time. This makes them a popular choice for sportspeople.

Price variations

Polarized lenses range greatly in price. As with most things, the cost reflects the quality. Cheaper lenses tend to be of lower quality, often only having a single layer of chemical laminate on one side. This might also have an irregular application, due to mass-production.The best quality polarized lenses have the laminated layer encased between two lenses that make up the lens itself. This means it can’t get scratched or rubbed off, unlike the cheaper option mentioned above. The thicker the layer, the better protection it gives against glare.It’s worth noting that the darkness of a lens doesn’t correlate to the quality of polarization, as such glasses can be produced in a wide range of colors. You’ll also need to remove polarized glasses to best view LCD screens (such as your cell phone) and you shouldn’t wear them at night.If you’re considering polarized lenses then it pays to go for the highest quality that you can comfortably afford.

Schedule an Appointment with the West Boca Eye Center Now

Eyecare is a vital element of whole-body health. Whether you require correctional lenses, polarized lenses, contacts, or a general checkup, the clinical excellence on offer at the West Boca Eye Center is second to none. Led by a globally renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Brent Bellotte, patients benefit from cutting-edge facilities and the ultimate in visual health expertiseVisit to find out more and book your appointment.

How Do Polarized Lenses Work?
How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

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West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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