Your sunglasses are probably polarized. This is thrown around as a standard of quality term for sunglasses, but do you really know what it means?
UV light can permanently damage the eyes. It can also hinder your experience or performance while participating in outdoor activities by causing glare and reducing visibility. Bright glare from water, snow, sand, or any reflective surface can not only reduce your visual performance for your activity, but can also cause eye strain. This is why UV caused eye diseases have names like “surfer’s eye,” as a surfer spends large amounts of time on the water and sand dealing with intense glare.
Why does this happen and how can polarized sunglasses fix it? The sun produces light, electromagnetic waves. This light travels in a “scattered” formation, with the photons bouncing freely every which way. When they encounter a reflective surface, they are polarized, and bounce off of the surface in a more intense, concentrated beam that we see as glare.
Polarized lenses work by creating a film or coating of which a substance is actually aligned with vertical striations on a molecular level. This is because light is almost always reflected off of surfaces in a horizontal polarization. Remember that light is a wave, so the waves are now oriented going left to right in relation to the ground rather than up and down. When the horizontally polarized waves encounter the vertically polarized coating, they can’t pass through! Think of this like venetian blinds, or as Phyics Classroom explains, picket fences. “If two picket fences are oriented such that the pickets are both aligned vertically, the vertical vibrations will pass through both fences. On the other hand, if the pickets of the second fence are aligned horizontally, then the vertical vibrations that pass through the first fence will be blocked by the second fence.” This is how a polarized lens effectively blocks glare!
Adults looking at a screen less than 8 hours per day
Adults and children concerned about eye health
Block Blue Light at night to sleep