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Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Your Eyes?

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A man wearing polarized sunglasses while sitting in the sand on a beach.

Protecting your eyes from the sun is important. We depend on our sense of sight more than any other, and polarized sunglasses are a great investment if you want the best in eye protection. They’re ideal for reducing the sun’s glare while protecting your eyes from UV rays.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors or driving, polarized sunglasses are better for your eyes than traditional sunglasses.

Polarized lenses can be made to suit your particular prescription. So after you get an eye exam, feel free to browse our selection. 

How Polarized Sunglasses Work

Polarized lenses use a special chemical film to filter light. They feature vertical openings that only allow vertical light through, blocking the horizontal light waves reflecting off smooth surfaces like water, snow, glass, or other structures. 

These specialized lenses make things appear slightly darker than they are, but they’re clearer with more visible details.

The Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses can help keep you safe while driving during the day. When sunlight hits a windshield, it can create a distracting glare which is filtered by polarized sunglasses, especially on a clear or partly cloudy day. 

By reducing windshield glare, your view of the road becomes clearer, allowing you to focus on driving without needing to adjust your view or shield your eyes from bright light. This can also help reduce eye strain and prevent the discomfort that comes along with it.

They’re also great for boating or fishing. Polarized lenses reduce glare off the water and help you look into it, letting you see what’s on the end of the line before reeling it in. And not only will you catch a fish, but your eyes will be protected at the same time. 

Differences Between Polarized & Non-Polarized Sunglasses

Glare Reduction

Non-polarized Sunglasses are designed to filter out ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can harm the eyes. However, they don’t protect against glare, which can be particularly problematic when driving or participating in outdoor activities. 

Polarized sunglasses provide enhanced visual comfort and superior clarity and contrast. The protective layer can also reduce the harmful impact of UVA/UVB rays and works just as well in the shade, so you don’t have to take them off.  

Remember that not all polarized lenses have UV protection, so make sure the glasses filter 100% UVA and UVB radiation. 

As such, we recommend considering polarized sunglasses for enhanced vision and safety in bright, sunny conditions. And they work particularly well in winter to reduce the snow’s glare.

Comparison of Colour Perception

There’s nothing quite like gazing up at an endless, vivid blue sky. 

Unfortunately, small particles in polluted or humid air can cause the sky to look gray, white, or yellow. Polarized lenses can prevent these particles from reflecting light, allowing the sky to maintain its deep blue hue. 

With traditional non-polarized sunglasses, you will pick up glares from building windows, water, and a host of reflective surfaces surrounding us daily. And while it may seem normal, why settle for a haze when you could see more vivid and crisp colours?

The Downsides of Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized lenses can make it difficult to see LCD screens, such as the one on your phone. Tilt your head at a certain angle, and the whole screen will vanish. They can also make it hard to judge differences between white colours, like snow and ice. Since this can be dangerous when skiing, some skiers avoid polarized glasses.  

Another odd effect you may see with polarized lenses is grid patterns on the windows of vehicles. This is due to the tempering process used to make the glass safe. 

Polarized lenses can also be more expensive than standard glasses and sunglasses. If you don’t mind dishing out a few extra bucks, they can be a good investment. 

A woman wearing polarized sunglasses, smiling and holding her arms up in the air while she is outside.

When to Wear Polarized Sunglasses

Outdoor Activities

Enjoy fishing, boating, and other activities where you’ll be out in the sun. As long as your polarized glasses have UVA and UVB protection, you can enjoy a crisp and vivid view. Colours will be incredibly vibrant when viewing water against the foliage. 


A polarizing filter is a highly sought-after photography accessory typically mounted on the camera lens. It functions similarly to glasses by eliminating reflections and enhancing natural colours, producing more vivid and striking images. 

This device is essential for photographers looking to elevate their craft and produce professional-quality photographs.


The best polarized lens colours for driving are gray or amber. Gray lenses are great for bright, hazy, and sunny weather, while amber lenses are better for cloudy, overcast days and rainy weather.

Find Your New Sunnies at Red Deer Eye Care 

Polarized sunglasses can be a fantastic choice for eye protection. They filter out harmful UV rays and reduce glare that causes eye strain and headaches. If you find yourself squinting even when wearing regular sunglasses, then polarized lenses may be a good option.

Remember, if it will protect your eyes, it is always a good investment. Call us today to book an appointment and view our selection of trendy polarized sunglasses.

Written by Dr. Daryl Berger

Dr. Berger was born and raised in Red Deer. After studying at Red Deer College and the U of A, he graduated with honours from the optometry program at Waterloo in 2007. Daryl enjoys music, cars, biking, hiking, snowboarding and travel. He and his wife, Pamela, have twin boys and a dog named Gus.
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