4 Commonly Asked Questions About Polarized Sunglasses

September 16, 2018

What are Polarized Sunglasses?



Question #1:  Why do I need a pair of polarized sunglasses?

To be perfectly honest, you don’t NEED polarized sunglasses - anymore than you NEED sunscreen while visiting the beach.  

However, just as we apply sunscreen to protect our skin, it’s vital that we protect our eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays as well. 

In addition to a multitude of eye diseases and conditions linked to or caused by aggravated exposure to UV radiation – long, unprotected bouts with the sun’s glare can cause cataracts, distort your view, reduce color and depth perception, and even cause temporary blindness. 

For many people, this can happen multiple times a day.  Once the sun’s rays hit a horizontal or flat surface (such as a road or body of water), it goes on to reflect and transmit light in every direction, causing a damaging glare. 

Fortunately, polarized lenses work by realigning incoming horizontal light.  So, not only do they aid in reducing glare, but they help eliminate the wavelengths of light that cause the glare.  This can prove highly beneficial for anyone with an active outdoors lifestyle, light-sensitive individuals, or people with prescription sunglasses. 

And although polarization by itself doesn’t equate to UV protection, any quality pair of polarized sunglasses worth their weight in gold will come equipped with UV protected lenses.  



Question #2:  What’s the difference between regular and polarized sunglasses?

I don’t know - Awesomeness?

Fundamentally, the difference is that regular sunglasses are designed to provide a limited amount of protection from horizontal and vertical sun rays.  They absorb all light and wavelengths equally, while polarized lenses selectively repel and eliminate wavelengths of light produced by the sun’s glare. 

In addition, most regular sunglasses are equipped with tinted lenses - which, may be great for reducing brightness, but, they often fail to reduce the glare of light transmitted from the sun, and often decrease the amount of visual intensity.

Many people make the mistake of confusing darker lenses with higher UV protection.  Unfortunately, the darkness of a lens does not fairly portray its ability to block UV rays. 

“Standing on a hot beach with layers of clothing, won’t prevent you from getting sunburn.” (Although, that would certainly be something to see.)

It’s also worth noting that darker sunglasses without UV protection can cause the pupil to dilate, allowing more UV rays into the iris, causing more damage to your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all. 

Polarized sunglasses contain lenses with special laminated filters that help break down the glare, allowing the vertical light to pass through, resulting in improved visibility and increased comfort. 

See for yourself.


Question #3:  Are all polarized lenses the same?


In principle, any quality pair of shades with polarized lenses will not only enhance your vision, but also help reduce the glare, provide sharper images, and deliver increased visual clarity. 

NO – well… sort of.

Each individual pair can offer two similar lenses, with distinctly different densities.

The .75mm polarized lenses are made from thinner sheets of film, and best used with lighter weight frames.  These lenses are perfectly suitable for casual sports or low impact resistant activities. 

The 1.1mm polarized lenses are made with a thicker sheet of film, offering a higher level of impact resistance.  Being the more expensive option of the two (and thickest available), these lenses are generally used with high-end sunglasses or thicker frames. 

It should be noted, that both lenses offer the same layer of polarization and glare reduction.


Question #4:  How do I check if my sunglasses are polarized?

If you’re out shopping for a cool pair of sunnies, and simply looking to verify the authenticity of polarization – use your smartphone for the assist.

Begin by matching two identical pairs of sunglasses together, so that you can see directly through both lenses.  Now, with your phone in portrait mode, slowly tilt it to the landscape orientation.  If the screen appears to be darker, blocking out the light, then both pairs of shades are polarized.  This little trick can also be done using a computer, tablet or LCD monitor. 

Although, for my money, there’s nothing better than the water test.  Since polarized lenses reduce glare and increase clarity, try looking into a body of water while wearing your shades.  If they are polarized, you shouldn’t have any trouble seeing underneath the water’s surface. 


Any questions?

As with any item, there are a number of things to consider before purchasing or deciding whether or not something is for you.  I’ve only addressed just a few commonly asked questions about polarized sunglasses.  However, I’m sure many questions still remain.  If you would like to know more about our polarized sunglasses or the Woosh brand - drop a comment below, or contact us 


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