When searching for a new pair of sunglasses shoppers are confronted with a lot of information about eye protection, with words like “polarized” and “UV protection” and “blue light” making frequent appearances. It can be a confusing process, one that we hope to make a bit less puzzling by breaking down some of the terminology.
Polarization: Pros and Cons
Many people mistakenly believe that polarization offers UV protection, however that is not quite the case. Polarization refers to a process of treating eyeglass lenses—usually sunglasses, but it’s also available for regular eyeglasses—that helps reduce glare. Polarized sunglasses are worn when one wants to reduce the glare of light reflecting off of water or other surfaces—this is why polarized glasses are so commonly worn among fishermen and boaters, for example.
The pros of polarized glasses include more comfort and reduced eyestrain, as well as enhanced contrast and clarity. A few cons include difficulty viewing certain things, such as LCD screens.
Polarization and UV Protection
Most polarized lenses filter out UV light, however not all UV-filtering lenses are polarized—it’s a distinction worth asking about. If UV protection is what you’re looking for, you may not necessarily need polarized lenses; if you are looking for sunglasses that are both polarized and offer increased UV protection specify that with the salesperson assisting you.
Last month we gave you a short primer on blue light and its effect on eyewear. To recap, blue light refers to blue and violet wavelengths contained within the spectrum of visible light. Blue light has a short wavelength and produces a high amount of energy, which is believed to contribute to long-term eye damage. Modern technology has increased the amount of blue light to which we are exposed via screen time with our phones, computers, and tablets.
New lens coatings offer protection against blue “High Energy Visible” (HEV) light. In addition to protecting eyes from the blue-violet light present in sunlight, indoor lighting, and digital monitors, these coatings can help reduce glare from headlights, taillights, and streetlights, improving vision and reaction time when driving.
Are you tired of experiencing eyestrain and fatigue? Are you looking for a pair of sunglasses that can keep up with the active summer you have planned? Stop in to one of our Eye Elegance locations, and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube.
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