For years, boaters and fishermen have used polarized sunglasses to reduce reflected glare from the water surrounding them.
But now that many others who spend time outdoors have discovered the benefits of polarized lenses, the popularity of these types of sunglasses has soared.
Besides boaters, outdoor enthusiasts who benefit the most from polarized sunglasses include skiers, bikers, golfers, and joggers, who enjoy a clearer view along with elimination of glare.
These sunglasses can be used for driving and, in fact, can reduce glare from a long, flat surface such as the hood of the car or the road's surface.
Polarized sunglasses can also be used indoors by light-sensitive people, including post-cataract surgery patients and those continually exposed to bright light through windows.
How Do Polarized Lenses 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.
There is some debate on the effects of polarized lenses on snow-covered surfaces. Some experts say they can reduce the intense glare that is caused by sunlight reflecting off snow. Others purport that the lenses are not satisfactory for sports such as downhill skiing because they may not provide the contrast the eye needs to distinguish ice patches or moguls.
In addition, polarized lenses may also react adversely with liquid crystal displays (LCDs) found on the dashboards of some cars or in other places such as the digital screens on automatic teller (bank) machines.
The problem with LCDs is that when viewed through polarized lenses from a certain angle, they can be invisible.
Polarized lenses reduce glare.
However, for most other sports and activities, polarized sunglasses can offer great advantages.
And today, many types of polarized lenses are available on the market.
Polarized progressive lenses are perfect for the presbyope who is also an outdoor sports aficionado.
And polarized photochromic lenses, which change from dark outside to light inside, are right for the light-sensitive person who changes environments frequently (inside to outside and vice versa).
Whether you spend your time waterskiing or boating, in-line skating or mountain biking, driving or jogging, polarized sunglasses are an excellent choice.