Have you ever wondered what polarized sunglasses really do for your eyes and if it is something that needs to be factored into your decision when choosing those cool looking shades? There is a lot of science and technology involved in the development and manufacturing of quality sunglasses.
Polarized Sunglasses block rays of sunlight concentrated on a horizontal plane. The word polar, when used in mechanical design or in other scientific fields of study, means lines are at 90-degree angles to each other, hence the term “polar coordinates”. When sunglasses are polarized they have tiny crystals sandwiched between layers of the lens material that rejects the horizontal light rays.
Sunlight is made up of light rays that radiate in all directions. When the rays strike a smooth, flat surface, such as a body of water, sand, snow, a piece of glass, or asphalt, most of the rays are reflected. The more reflective the surface, the brighter they are. This creates a sometimes dangerous intensity of light rays known as glare.
Reflected light rays are partially polarized, meaning that the light rays are traveling in a more concentrated, better aligned, less random, and more horizontal pattern. And since our eyes are lined up horizontally instead of vertically, (and thank goodness they are) we get bombarded with sunlight.
Polarized sunglasses have been used for years by fishermen and boaters who need to reduce the glare from the water. But now, many others who spend time outdoors have found the benefits of polarization. Interest in this type of lens has increased dramatically.
One way to find out if your cheap sunglasses are really polarized is to hold them near your eyes just as you normally wear them, find an object that is brightly reflecting the sun and look through the lenses. Then move them down and you should see much more glare than when looking through the lenses. Now turn the sunglasses 90 degrees where the temples are vertical and look through one lens, and then move it aside just like before. The glare is about equal with or without the lens. If you really have polarized lenses you will not see the glare through the glasses when held in a horizontal position and you will see it through the lens in a vertical position because the lenses are horizontally polarized.
Besides those who enjoy water sports, others who benefit greatly from polarized sunglasses are joggers, cyclists, and golfers. Polarized sunglasses help each one see clearer by eliminating surface glare.
They can be used for driving, and in fact, reduce glare from the long, flat surface of the hood of the car and the road’s surface. But be aware that some automobile windshields are already polarized, and this doubled effect can create some strange patterns in the window glass. Polarized sunglasses also could be worn indoors if someone happens to be ultra-sensitive to light.
Even though polarized lenses greatly improve comfort and vision, you will find some circumstances where polarized sunglasses may not be the best choice. For example consider downhill skiing, where you would not want to block the light reflecting from solid ice patches, because the skiers need to recognize the hazards ahead.
Also, polarized lenses may lessen the visibility of the images from an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) sometimes found on the dash panel of vehicles or in other places like the digital screens at a bank ATM.
With polarized sunglass lenses, you also may not be able to see your cell phone or GPS screen. Pilots have also reported problems when reading Liquid Crystal Displays on their instrument panels, which can be a major issue if it comes down to a split-second decision based on the data displayed.
However, for most of our sporting and other outdoor activities, polarized sunglasses are more of a necessity than a luxury. And so with the many choices of polarized sunglasses available, combined with the features and styling of the frames, wearing sunglasses seems as natural as wearing shoes.
Many find Costa Del Mar Harpoon Polarized sunglasses to be their favorites. Others prefer something completely different. Either way, it should come down to choosing a quality pair of polarized Men’s Sunglasses or Women’s Sunglasses that completely protect your eyes now and in the future. Learn more at the Costa Del Mar Harpoon Blog through these links!