Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than being blinded by glare, especially if you’re busy enjoying the sun. The bright light bouncing off a surface can really affect your vision, making being able to see clearly rather tricky. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. 

For many, glare is just part of everyday life. Whether it’s sun rays bouncing on a car or cannoning off a body of water, glare is a constant thorn in the side. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

So, what’s the solution to this troublesome issue? The answer is polarized lenses.   

But before we delve in deep, let’s start with the basics.

What is Glare?

When light bounces off a surface, light waves travel in all directions. Some waves travel vertically, while others travel horizontally. When light strikes a surface, these light waves are absorbed or reflected.

However, when light hits a reflective surface at the right angle, some of the light waves become polarized. Typical surfaces that will generate glare are water, snow or objects with shiny/reflective surfaces. This results in vertical light waves being absorbed while horizontal light waves bounce off the surface. This excess light can become polarized, ultimately resulting in glare. 

This glare is not only an issue as far as vision is concerned, but can also send harmful UV rays your way, damaging your eyes. 

Polarized lenses are specially designed to block glare and omit harmful UV rays. Not only that but these lenses, which can be fitted to prescription sunglasses frames, will enhance visual acuity, colour contrast and visual comfort.

What is a Polarized Lens?

Laminated with tiny vertical stripes that allow only vertically angled light to enter the wearer’s eyes, polarized lenses are designed to eliminate glare caused by horizontal light waves. This is because the horizontal waves cannot pass through the lens’ specially designed filter.

Polarized lenses are popular amongst manufacturers of sunglasses and camera lenses, with the two using the technology to reduce glare from surfaces.  

How Do Polarized Lenses Actually Work?

Polarized lenses are designed to combat the polarization of light. Polarization occurs when light bounces off a surface and the electrons of the atoms become scattered and begin to vibrate. The resulting vibration causes the electrons to produce their own electromagnetic wave that radiates in all directions. 

It is the job of polarized lenses to combat this effect. Each lens contains millions of parallel rows of minute iodine crystals or dichroic dyes. These are so small, they can’t even be seen with the naked eye!

In much the same way Venetian blinds can be adjusted to block out light, the horizontal rows of iodine crystals contained within the polarized lens block out horizontally polarized light waves. The only light permitted is non-polarized vertical light. This results in clear vision despite the glare of the light. 

Who uses Polarized Lenses?

In reducing the glare created by water, polarized lenses are very popular amongst fishermen, as they allow clearer visibility, allowing the huntsman to see more clearly beneath the surface of the water.    

The reduced glare can also be beneficial for drivers, especially those travelling long distances as it helps to decrease the risk of eye strain.

Photographers also use polarizing filters on camera lenses to enrich the quality of their images. The lens delivers greater contrast and an increased range of possible effects.

However, you don’t need to be a fisherman, driver or photographer to benefit from polarized lenses.  

How To Buy Polarized Lenses

The great thing about polarized lenses is that they can be added to almost any glasses frame. So, whether you’re looking to add polarized lenses to a budget or designer frame – including Oakley, Ran-Ban or Ralph Lauren glasses – you can enjoy the benefits of polarized lenses. 

You can even add polarized lenses to an existing frame using a reglazing service like the one offered by https://www.onlineopticiansuk.com/