Sunglasses are extremely important when it comes to eye protection. As a result, the market is quite saturated; whether you're looking for wraparound sunglasses, athletic sunglasses, or photochromic sunglasses, you'll find a plethora of options at your fingertips. One of the most common types you'll come across are sunglasses with polarized lenses. If you don't know what that polarized lenses do, you might consider them to be just another buzzword that glasses companies have thrown on their product to get a sale -- but you'd be wrong! Let's take a look at why sunglasses with polarized lenses truly do make a difference.
The Risks Of UV Damage
Ultraviolet rays are incredibly damaging to our eyes; they cause glaucoma, cataracts, and can easily contribute to varying degrees of blindness and other eye conditions. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that 20% of cataract cases are avoidable with the proper UV eye protection -- and that isn't always guaranteed with your run-of-the-mill sunglasses. Cosmetic lenses block 70% of UVB rays, while general purposes shades block 95% of UVB and UVA. Special purpose lenses block 99% of UVB rays, but none of these options protect you from the effects of polarization.
The Effects Of Polarization
In order to understand why polarized lenses make a difference, you have to understand how light is absorbed and reflected. When UV rays hit a horizontal surface such as land or water, it is often reflected back horizontally, causing the rays to focus together and create glare. This is why hoods of cars, asphalt, and snow can be so blinding on bright, sunny days. Polarized lenses block these horizontal rays and diminish the glare, making it easier -- and safer -- for you to drive, ski, bike, and do a number of other outdoor activities.
If you're an avid outdoorsman or woman, polarized sunglasses are an absolute must. By reducing the strength of the glare reflecting off of water, pavement, snow, and other objects, your vision is considerably improved; you won't be facing some of the more uncomfortable and potentially dangerous obstacles present in the great outdoors when you're equipped with your own pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses.