Polarised sunglasses have been popular for years with boaters and fishermen who need to reduce reflected glare from the water surrounding them. But now that many others who spend time outdoors have discovered the benefits of polarised lenses, interest in these types of sunglasses has soared. Besides boaters, outdoor enthusiasts who benefit the most from polarized sunglasses include skiers, bikers, golfers and joggers since all of these activities require the elimination of glare for optimum safety and performance. Polarised sunglasses can be helpful for driving, too, because they reduce glare-causing reflections from flat surfaces, such as the hood of the car or the road’s surface. Some light-sensitive people, including post-cataract surgery patients and those continually exposed to bright light through windows, may also choose to wear polarised sunglasses indoors.
How Do Polarized Lenses Work?
Polarized sunglasses provide superior glare protection — especially on the water.
Polarised lenses contain a special filter that blocks this type of intense reflected light, reducing glare.
Though polarised sunglasses improve comfort and visibility, you will encounter some instances when these lenses may not be advisable. One example is downhill skiing, where you don’t want to block light reflecting off icy patches because this alerts skiers to hazards they are approaching.
In addition, polarised lenses may reduce the visibility of images produced by liquid crystal displays (LCDs) or light-emitting diode displays (LEDs) found on the dashboards of some cars or in other places such as the digital screens on automatic teller machines and self-service gas pumps.
With polarised lenses, you also may be unable to see your cell phone or GPS device. Boaters and pilots also have reported similar problems when viewing LCD displays on instrument panels, which can be a crucial issue when it comes to making split-second decisions based strictly on information displayed on a panel. (Some manufacturers of these devices have changed their products to solve the problem, but many have not yet done so.)
However, for most other sports and activities, polarised sunglasses offer great advantages. And today, many polarised lenses are available in combination with other features that can enhance outdoor experiences.