Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Sunglasses

  • 4 min read

When looking to buy sunglasses, there are thousands of fantastic products that you could choose from. Whether purchasing them online or in store, any opportunity to narrow your search should be grabbed with both hands. Perhaps one of the quickest ways to filter your search is to consider the difference between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses.

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at polarized vs. non-polarized sunglasses is that the former tends to be a more expensive solution. Is it worth the extra cost? Here’s what you need to know.

What are polarized sunglasses?

Whether looking at polarized sunglasses or non-polarized sunglasses, their main function is to protect your eyes from the sun. Every pair will do this by blocking out the harsh rays that come directly from the sun. However, polarized sunglasses feature a different type of lens that has the added ability to filter out ambient light, which significantly reduces the amount of glare from reflective surfaces.

These properties make polarized eyewear more comfortable for the user as they will experience less glare and harsh light. This will reduce the amount of squinting and strain on the eyes. Polarization can be added to prescription sunglasses as well as standard accessory eyewear.

With blindness set to triple by 2050, primarily due to UV rays, they have become a popular choice for eyewear users around the world due to their built-in protection - although it should be noted that UV protection is a different issue that will be labeled on all appropriate eyewear.

The benefits of polarized sunglasses

Due to the treatment that is given to their specialized lenses, polarized sunglasses offer a range of benefits for the wearer. Some of their key features include;

  • Polarization removes harsh glare, allowing your eyes to look at objects more comfortably in conditions where there is bright light.
  • Polarized lenses additionally removes the glare from reflective water surfaces, which reduces squinting and makes them great for water sports.
  • Wearers will experience reduced eye strain while the added comfort allows for long periods in bright light without gaining headaches.
  • The built-in UV protection protects the eyes against macular degeneration and damage caused by sun exposure.
  • Polarized lenses deliver increased clarity and contrast of vision, allowing you to see the world with a more natural feel than non-polarized lenses.

When to wear polarized sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses have built-in UV protection, reduce glare from bright light and water reflections, and provide increased clarity and contrast. In addition to the benefits while wearing this type of eyewear, many people report that they feel less tired (compared to non-polarized sunglasses wearers) after long periods in the sun.

There are many situations in which polarized sunglasses are a far better option. Fishing, boating, and other water-based activities are all improved when you experience reduced glare from the water. Likewise, time spent on the snow is improved when your vision isn’t impacted by glare.

Many golfers find that polarized sunglasses are great for avoiding glare on the fairway and retrieving balls that have found their way to the water hazards. Meanwhile, anyone who experiences light sensitivity will probably choose this style of sunglasses.

The benefits of non-polarized sunglasses

Non-polarized sunglasses are not treated in the same way. While this does reduce their performance in some situations, like on water, it can also lead to several benefits. Thy include;

  • Reduced costs as the lenses are less advanced
  • Increased durability - as well as no risk of causing damage to the polarization that has been applied to polarized lenses
  • Easier use of LCD screens including TVs and backlit smartphones
  • True to life colors when looking at white objects and other light colored products

When to wear non-polarized sunglasses

Without getting too technical, polarized lenses work by blocking light that travels horizontally while allowing vertical light. While this makes them great for the situations mentioned above, it does make it difficult to see LCD screens due to the way that light travels from the backlit screens. In this case, you will find that non-polarized lenses are better.

It should also be noted that non-polarized eyewear can be useful for driving in certain conditions. For example, you may want to see the glare from ice on the road or puddles at night. In these situations, reflecting the glare would actually be a disadvantage.

Non-polarized glasses also make some colors, such as white, appear more true to life than polarized sunglasses. They are also cheaper, and often more durable, which makes them a good choice for infrequent users.

Conclusion

Both polarized and non-polarized sunglasses can be used to improve your vision in the sun. However, they each have distinct properties that make them better suited to different situations. Meanwhile, many users will want to consider alternative solutions like mirrored sunglasses. For most people, having two pairs of sunglasses is the ideal choice.

Whichever style is right for you, get in touch to find the best eyewear today.

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