Blog Hero

What are Polarized Sunglasses?

Book Appointment
A young woman standing outside in the sunlight, wearing polarized sunglasses to protect her vision.

During those bright summer months, the sunlight can be beautiful, but it can also harm your eyes.

Keeping your eyes protected with sunglasses has been shown to decrease the chances of developing cataracts, ARMD (Age-related macular degeneration) and other eye conditions. One great way to protect your eyes this summer is with polarized sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce glare from horizontal surfaces like roads and water and offer protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Whether you’re driving or enjoying a sunny day, polarized sunglasses can make a remarkable difference by providing comfortable vision and ensuring a clear, glare-free view. 

What’s the Difference Between Polarized & Non-Polarized Sunglasses?

When it comes to protecting your eyes from sun damage, both types of sunglasses are effective. But, there are slight differences between polarized and non-polarized lenses. It all comes down to how the lenses are made. 

  • Polarized lenses are coated with a special chemical that filters light. This coating will allow some light to filter through, but not all. If light hits your polarized lenses vertically, it will be able to pass through. If the light hits horizontally, it will bounce off of the lenses. This process is called polarization.
  • Non-polarized lenses are designed to reduce the intensity of any light. Suppose you have non-polarized lenses with UV protection. In that case, they are made with a protective coating that will absorb ultraviolet rays. But they won’t protect your eyes from bright glaring light like polarized lenses. 
A pair of polarized sunglasses sitting on the ground.

The Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses are more than just stylish—they also provide many benefits for your eyes! 

Glare Reduction

Polarized lenses reduce glare caused by sunlight reflecting off flat, horizontal surfaces, such as water, snow, and roads. Glare can be very intense and uncomfortable, driving reduced visibility. Polarized sunglasses help to block this glare, allowing for precise and comfortable vision.

Increased Colour Perception

Polarized lenses can enhance colour perception by reducing the intensity of scattered light. This makes colours appear more vibrant and true to life, making outdoor scenes and landscapes more visually appealing.

Improved Visual Clarity 

By reducing glare, polarized sunglasses enhance visual clarity. This helps objects and details appear sharper and more defined. This can be beneficial for driving, outdoor sports, or water activities, where clear vision is essential for safety and performance.

Reduced Eye Strain

Studies show that polarized sunglasses can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. They can be very beneficial in bright outdoor environments where the eyes may have to work harder to focus and adjust to changing light.

Protection from Sun Damage

UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes, including the surface tissue, cornea, and lens. Sun damage to your eyes can be very similar to sun burning your skin, except you might not notice the symptoms immediately. Polarized sunglasses offer protection from the sun’s UV rays, which can lessen any damage to your eyes.


Photokeratitis is a temporary condition that can affect your eyes after long, unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Symptoms usually only last up to 24 hours, but they can cause temporary loss of vision and other painful issues. 

Other symptoms of photokeratitis include:

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Swelling in the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Headaches

If you think you might have photokeratitis, contact your trusted eye doctor to diagnose and treat the condition.

Wearing polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from harsh sun rays can help prevent photokeratitis.

When Should I Use Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses can be used in several situations, but they are great for the following activities:

  • Fishing
  • Golfing
  • Skiing
  • Boating
  • Going to the beach
  • Working outdoors

It’s worth noting that while polarized sunglasses offer numerous benefits, there are some instances where they aren’t as beneficial. Polarized sunglasses can make it hard to see some LCD screens, such as:

  • Dashboard controls in your car
  • Cellphone screens
  • Smartwatch screens
  • ATM screens

Protect Your Eyes with a Pair of Polarized Sunglasses 

Polarized sunglasses can benefit your vision and eye health by effectively blocking harmful UV rays and minimizing glare. So, don’t let the glare get in your way—invest in a pair of polarized sunglasses from York Mills Eye Care and enjoy the world in all its vibrant glory while ensuring optimal eye protection. Book an appointment with our eye care team in North York today!

Written by Dr. Vagners

instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax