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What are polarized lenses?

Sunglasses with polarized lenses are a summer staple that help protect your eyes from harmful radiation while also eliminating glare.


When the sun’s out, be sure to grab your favorite pair of polarized sunglasses. Without them, you’ll find yourself squinting in the harsh sunlight, and your eyes will be exposed to potentially harmful UV rays.

The tinting in normal sunglasses is enough to protect your eyes from radiation, but if you want to have the clearest vision when you step outside, you want to find a pair that’s polarized.

How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

Polarized lenses work by using a special chemical process that creates a special coating on the surface of the lens, these glasses filter out all light coming from that direction, virtually eliminating glare.

In contrast, normal sunglasses work by limiting the amount of light coming from all directions, dimming it so that you find it easier to look around without squinting. Polarized lenses go a step further, taking advantage of the fact that most reflected light travels in only one direction.

Light travels in waves, and the waves of normal light travel in several different directions. Combined, they create the visible light we see, whether it comes from the sun, a lamp, or a candle. But when light is reflected off of a flat surface or a body of water, it travels in only a single direction. This gives the reflected light an uncomfortable intensity that we call glare.

When Should You Use Polarized Lenses?

The technology first became popular with fisherman, boaters, and others who spent a lot of time near large bodies of water. Polarized glasses received their nickname of “fisherman sunglasses,” since their ability to eliminate glare made it easier to spot fish under the water, so fishermen knew where to cast their lines.

The polarized coating is also effective for drivers, eliminating the glare of the sun off of other cars and the paved road, making them ideal for long drives. For readers, polarization reduces the glare off of your book if you’re sitting in direct sunlight.

While there are specific circumstances where polarized sunglasses are the better option, you can opt for polarized lenses on any occasion that requires sunglasses. In most cases, your vision will be clearer, even if you’re not on the open road or near a large body of water.

When Are Polarized Lenses Not Effective?

Electronic screens, such as a tablet or cellphone, might look distorted if you’re wearing polarized frames. Because of the way these displays work, they often only give off light that travels in a few directions, and so when viewed through your sunglasses they can appear blank or potentially off-color and out of focus. This can make reading a digital book, magazine, or article difficult or even impossible.

At, many designer sunglasses we offer include optional polarized lenses, letting you get the frames you want with the lenses you need. If you still have questions, we’re here to help. Our friendly and professional customer service staff will help you find the answers you need so you can get the shades you’ll love.