Boaters and fishermen have used polarized sunglasses a long time to reduce glare from the lake. However, polarized sunglasses can offer benefits and advantages when worn for most outdoor sports activities. The popularity of polarized lenses has increased dramatically as has availability. In the past few years, however, the benefits of polarized sunglasses have been realized by a variety of other outdoor sports enthusiasts as well as by drivers and general use wearers.
How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?
Light reflected from surfaces like a flat road or smooth water is generally horizontally polarized. This horizontally polarized light is blocked by the vertically oriented polarizers in the lenses.
The result: a reduction in annoying and sometimes dangerous glare.
Polarized sunglasses have five primary advantages:
- They reduce light transmission by only allowing light to transmit through select angles.
- They reduce UV light and reflected glare off surfaces such as snow, water and pavement by blocking light at certain angles.
- They increase contrast sensitivity allowing more distinction between under water objects and during sport activities.
- Boaters and fishermen have used polarized sunglasses a long time to reduce glare from the lake.
- They reduce sunlight glare for driving, especially on the hot sunny days of the summer when the heat is rising off the road causing increased polarity.
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By making an analogy to Venetian blinds we can describe the principle of polarized sunglasses. The blind allows light to be transmitted through select angles while blocking light at certain angles. For enhanced clarity and reduced back glare, some polarized sunglasses have an Anti-Reflective coating on either the front or back of the lens.
Consequently, liquid crystal displays (LCD) may cause polarized sunglasses to react adversely by making the LCD’s invisible when viewed at a certain angle. This type of LCD displays can be found on bank ATM machines, dashboards of some cars, and some cell phones.
The jury is still out on the effects of polarized sunglasses on snow-covered surfaces. Some experts say they can reduce the intense glare that is caused by sunlight reflecting off snow. Others state polarized sunglasses are not very feasible for sports such as downhill skiing because they may not provide the contrast the eye needs to distinguish changes in snow conditions.
However, for most other sports and activities, polarized sunglasses can offer great advantages. And today, many types of polarized sunglasses are available on the market. Whether you spend your time boating or waterskiing, in-line skating or mountain biking, driving or jogging, polarized sunglasses are an excellent choice.Read More »