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Benefits of polarised lenses
Posted 23 October 2018
To polarise or not to polarise – is there really a difference? Health Partners optometrist Cliff Kam helps to shed some light.
Polarised sunnies are highly recommended in countries with increased levels of sun exposure, like Australia, because of the increased clarity of vision they provide. Polarised sunnies aren’t just great for you, they’re a good idea for kids too – the earlier in life you start wearing sunglasses and protect your eyes from UV rays, the better.
So what do polarised lenses actually do?
It’s all about wavelengths. Rays of sunlight are made up of different wavelengths, all traveling at different angles. When they reflect off a certain surface, some wavelengths bounce back and some don’t. Polarised lenses work as a filter, helping to reduce this excess reflected light. This creates less glare and reflections resulting in clearer vision.
What’s the difference between polarised and non-polarised lenses?
Non polarised lenses only darken the perception of sunlight – they don’t reduce glare. In comparison, polarised lenses specifically target and reduce the reflected wavelengths responsible for glare and blinding reflections.
What are the benefits of polarised lenses?
Polarised lenses can increase your visual comfort because your eyes aren’t constantly challenged by glare, making it easier to view objects in bright conditions.
People who spend a lot of time around bodies of water, such as fishing or paddle boarding, will really benefit from polarised sunnies as they allow you to see through the water’s surface, as well as giving you clearer vision.
But the benefits aren’t just for water lovers, driving will also be a lot easier and safer when wearing polarised sunnies as you’re not distracted by bright, harsh reflections and glare from the sun.
Do polarised lenses protect from UV damage or is that a myth?
As great as polarised sunnies are at lowering the intensity of glare entering our eyes, on their own they don’t fully protect from UV light. This is why it’s important to ensure any sunnies you buy have a full UV blocker. Just like sunblock there are different categories of UV protection, the higher the category rating, the better the UV protection.
All Health Partners sunnies, polarised and non-polarised come standard with a full UV block.
Why are UV sunglasses so important?
We protect our skin with sunblock, but many of us forget to protect our eyes. And as we can’t put sunblock on our eyeballs, we need UV protection on our sunnies. This helps to reduce the risks of cancers and melanomas on the eyes. Too much UV exposure can also cause cataracts and may cause damage to your retina, the lining at the back of your eyes that helps you to see clearly. UV coating on lenses helps to reduce the amount of harmful radiation reaching your eyes.
How can you tell if your current sunglasses are polarised or not?
To tell if a pair of sunglasses are polarised look through the lenses at a digital screen such as your phone, rotate it 90 degrees and you should see the screen darken. Non polarised sunnies will stay the same.
Enjoy clearer vision and start protecting your eyes with polarised lenses.
If you’re worried about the health of your eyes, your Health Partners optometrist can detect signs of any UV and sun damage as well as recommending the best options for you.