What are Polarized Lenses and What are Their Benefits


What are polarized lenses and why should you care?

Comparison of Polarized (left) and non-polarized lenses. Notice the reduction in glare.

Let's Start Here: What is Light?

We're going to take you back to high school physics class, but stay with us; we promise we’ll get to the point... Light is a wave moving through time and space and the length of these waves is what determines color, so all color exists between these wavelengths.

Visible spectrum color

Polarized Light Explained

Now, let’s break it down further: electric waves are vertical and magnetic waves are horizontal. Together, these waves make electromagnetic radiation. In its purest form, we call this polarized light.

What we call “ordinary light” is unpolarized because waves occur in a random manner (meaning the waves are vertical, horizontal, and angular). This is what causes distorted vision in bright sunlight: the light waves are bouncing in all different directions and we call it glare.

So, Where do Polarized Sunglasses Come In?

what are polarized lenses

What’s the problem with ordinary light? Well, ordinary light blurs your vision. If you’re trying to look for fish, animals, a golf ball or even just drive safely down the street, it’s more difficult when your vision is being distorted by all these random light waves causing reflections everywhere. This is why polarized lenses were created: they are intended to enhance your visual experience. They improve the usefulness of your sunglasses in most situations (golfing, skiing, fishing, etc.) by getting rid all those disturbing reflections and allowing you to see with clarity.

What Activities Are Polarized Sunglasses Good For?

Polarized sunglasses are ideal for fishing, boating, hunting, golf, driving and many other activities (see our article, Choosing the Right Lens Color for Fishing). It can cost a little more, but once you see the benefits of polarized sunglasses, you’ll never go back!

Do You Need Polarized Lenses?

Polarized lenses block out the glare coming from reflective surfaces (e.g. water, glass, asphalt, snow), eliminating nuisance, distracting light reflecting, discomfort and visual distortion, and not only on sunny days. Wearing sunglasses with polarized glasses even on those overcast days can help improve your vision.


The specific benefits of polarized lenses are:

  • Reduce glare
    • Creates safe and relaxed vision
    • Reduces eye fatigue
  • Improved vision
    • Details and contrast enhancements
    • Improved visual clarity and acuity
    • Improved depth perception
    • Improved color recognition
    • Realistic perceptions
  • Eye health (just ask an eye care professional!)
    • 100% UV protection
    • Reduces squinting, which causes fine lines and wrinkles
    • Protects against glare and intense light
  • Performance enhancement for outdoor/sport activities