Edwin H. Land first created polarized glasses in 1929 to reduce glare and enhance visual clarity. They were widely used during WWII and finally sold to the public in 1937. But are they really necessary? Here’s the breakdown on polarized vs. non-polarized sunglasses to help keep you informed.

Polarized Sunglasses: What are they?

The lenses in polarized sunglasses are specially designed to filter out ambient light and reduce glare produced from reflective surfaces. The lens is coated with a thin chemical film which provides that extra shield against intense light that can hurt and strain your eyes. On the other hand, non-polarized glasses are considered standard lenses designed to reduce the intensity of ambient light around you, but not to the same degree as polarized. 

Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses

Minimizes Harsh Glare

By minimizing the intensity of glaring surfaces, it essentially improves your ability to see objects and environments more clearly. This can be very beneficial and safer while driving on the highway during peak periods when the sun is lower in the sky and can hinder your ability to see objects or other drivers clearly.

Reduces Strain on Your Eyes

In some cases, glare can be disabling, even causing temporary blindness by blocking your central and peripheral vision momentarily. Polarized glasses can prevent that strain and washed-out effect from occurring.

Enhanced UV protection

Since polarized sunglasses are made using molecules that are arranged in a vertical manner, they act similar to blinds by allowing light to filter in a while, blocking out those piercing bursts of light. This enhances the overall UV protection for your eyes and vision.

Polarized glasses are ideal for:

  • Drivers
  • Boaters
  • Anglers
  • Beach-goers

Benefits of Non-polarized Sunglasses

More Affordable

Non-polarized are your standard sunglasses that you can just about find anywhere. As such, they are typically more affordable compared to the specialty polarized sunglasses.

More Accurate Colours

They also produce more accurate colour when viewing environments and objects, such as white surfaces.

Greater Durability

Non-polarized lenses aren’t usually as delicate, making them more durable than polarized glasses. 

View LCD Screens with Ease

Polarized lenses can darken your view when looking at an LCD screen. Non-polarized, on the other hand, won’t, making it easier to see screens properly.

Non-polarized sunglasses are ideal for:

  • You have a tighter budget
  • You tend to break glasses easily
  • You want to be able to see your phone screen while wearing sunglasses

If you want to test out the difference in person, swing by Laurier Optical today. We carry a wide range of both polarized sunglasses and non-polarized. We’ll help you find the best pair based on your needs, vision and budget.

Article has been reviewed by an Optometrist.