Understanding polarized sunglasses

Man wearing sunglasses while outdoors

In addition to prescription sunglasses, you may want to consider another option closely related to providing safer and better vision: polarized sunglasses. How can they benefit you?

What is glare?

First, let’s learn about glare. Since most objects are uneven (e.g., the face of a brick building), any light hitting the surface is scattered in different directions. However, when light hits a very smooth surface (e.g., a calm body of water), the light tends to bounce off of the surface at the same angle. If this angled light happens go straight into your eyes (such as when you are driving or fishing), you experience an intense light, called glare.


Polarized lenses have an embedded chemical film in which the molecules are physically lined up to create “slots” through which light can pass. These lenses will block out the vertically-aligned waves coming at you off the water’s surface.

The benefits of polarized sunglasses

You’ll see that the polarized sunglasses provide increased clarity, allowing you to see details better. The view will be somewhat darker through polarized lenses, but the image will look less washed out. Prescription polarized sunglasses carry a double benefit for you as a member, providing the protection from glare while outside or driving, along with the visual correction you needed for optimal vision. In addition, many drivers have reported they no longer experience the fatigue they usually encounter while driving on a sunny day, caused by fighting off the sun’s glare coming at them for hours at a time.


While polarized sunglasses do cost more than plain sunglasses, they’re a sound investment that will protect an irreplaceable asset. Whether you drive, fish, or just spend a lot of time in the sun, polarized sunglasses could increase your comfort while also protecting your sight.

Sources: All About Vision, AAO, AOA, Glaucoma.org, NIH.gov

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