People generally know that too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause
sunburns and skin cancer. However, very few know that UV rays can also cause damage to
the eyes. In different studies conducted, results show that extended exposure to the sun’s
rays can cause significant eye problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, pinguecula,
pterygia and photokeratitis.
The harmful effects of UV rays imply that your eyes must always be protected from solar
radiation. You can do this by wearing sunglasses that block 100% UV whenever you are
outdoors in daylight. Even on cloudy days your eyes need to be protected because the
damaging UV rays can penetrate cloud cover.
Talking about sunglasses, there are two kinds of sunglasses: polarized and non-polarized
sunglasses. The difference between the two types lies in how they impact your eyesight
while in the sun. The main difference lies is that polarized sunglasses have the ability to
reduce the amount of glares and sun hazes you experience while in sunny environments
while non-polarized sunglasses don’t.
What gives polarized sunglasses their ability?
Polarized sunglasses have polarized lenses which are treated with a special coating that
gives them enhanced anti-blur and anti-haze protection. The polarized sunglasses keep
your vision in the sun clearer than ever. No wonder polarized eyewear is a premier choice
for drivers, hikers and athletes.
Polarized lenses can filter out light in a horizontal orientation where horizontal light is the
most problematic light orientation. This is because it can cause a glare from the surfaces it
reflects off and the glare can range from unnoticeable or irritating to blinding and
dangerous depending on the situation and the sensitivity of your eyes.
Polarized vs. Non-Polarized
Both polarized and non-polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from bright light, harmful
UVA and UVB light. However, polarized sunglasses have an added bonus in that they don’t
get the glare that can come with regular sunglasses.
Non-polarized lenses reduce the brightness of all kinds of light making it easier for you to
see in strong light without doing anything about the glare you can experience. While they
reduce the amount of light getting to your eyes, they are not a perfect solution to your
specific sunwear woes. You’ll probably need some polarized sunglasses because of their
The disadvantage of polarized sunglasses is that it is harder to see through them. You may
actually not be able to see yourself in a selfie with polarized lenses. In addition, reducing
the glare can give you a difficulty in distinguishing between the different surfaces light is
reflecting off which is problematic for someone like a skier.
In general, polarized sunglasses are a little better than non-polarized sunglasses.
How to tell polarized sunglasses
All you have to do to tell whether a pair of sunglasses is polarized or not is to wear them
and take quick-test run in the sun. Try and look up towards the sun or distant things in a
brightly lit area. If you don’t experience blurriness or smudging in your vision, then you are
most likely wearing polarized lenses.
Take a step forward in protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays by getting yourself some