When people are buying sunglasses, they often wonder if it’s really necessary to buy polarized sunglasses. Typically, polarized sunglasses are more expensive than regular sunglasses. For example, polarized Wayfarers are around 30% more expensive than non-p[olarized Wayfarers. For the uninitiated, this seems strange.
Polarized and non-polarized glasses seem to have the same kind of lenses. Yet, the differences between the two are the physical as well as coating layers in polarized sunglasses, which make them more expensive. When you are out in the sun, its ultraviolet rays affect you either through direct sunlight, or, from the sunlight bouncing off from surfaces such as glass windshields, snow, and water.
Non-polarized sunglasses are great at dealing with direct sunlight but do a poor job at dimming the light from reflected surfaces. When you wear polarized glasses, you feel an immediate improvement in vision. That’s what you’re paying money for. In this article, I will help you better understand the benefits of having polarized sunglasses.
Most people think of polarized sunglasses as fashion items, but there is hard science behind them. Polarized lenses are chemically treated to enable them to absorb light bouncing off from horizontal surfaces, while at the same time allowing in direct sunlight. The reason why direct sunlight is allowed in is that it is less harmful than sunlight bouncing off from surfaces. This runs contrary to most people’s expectations that direct sunlight is the most harmful type of sunlight. By reducing glare and strain, they also improve vision and eye comfort.
Regular sunglasses reduce overall light by tinting the lens, but this does not prevent direct sunlight from going through. Although polarized sunglasses also employ a tint, they also have a protective layer that blocks glare.
In short, if you want to enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about glare, suffering from eye strain, or hampered visibility, then you need to buy polarized sunglasses.
At this point, it’s important to note that polarization does not completely protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. So you will still have to pay attention to how much time you spend in the sun.
The manufacturing methods used to produce polarized sunglasses, as well as the quality of the material, are the reason why there is such a huge difference in the price and optics of polarized and non-polarized sunglasses. Now, a polarized lens in a pair of $10 sunglasses, will give you some of the properties of a $500 pair of sunglasses, but you will get 30% more effectiveness from the more expensive pair and 50% to 80% more durability. The world is flush with polarized lenses, but if you want the very best, these are made from just a few factories, such as Nakanishi in Japan, and Barberini in Italy. When you’re looking for a polarized lens, it makes a real difference where you are getting your lens from.
This should tell you that when you are buying polarized sunglasses, you have to take care to get the best quality. Whether you’re going retro with browline glasses or looking for something more modern, quality counts.