If you live in a sunny region, then sunglasses are a must. Should your shades be polarized or anti-glare or just tinted? That depends on your actual need. But we can help you with some valuable insights to figure out which sunglass is ideal for you.
Let’s find out what polarized and anti-glare glasses are. Are they the same with different names or actually distinct in their properties?
Is Polarized Lens Better than Ant-Glare?
- What is Polarization?
- What are Polarized Lenses?
- How to Identify Genuine Polarized Lens?
- How Polarized Lenses Work for You?
- What is Anti-Glare?
- Polarized Lenses are Anti-Glare?
- Polarized vs. Anti-Glare
What is Polarization?
When you look at a lake on a bright sunny day, the glare from its surface does not pass through the water but reflects. This is the reason you cannot see anything below the surface, even when the water is clear. The sun's rays are always reflected or absorbed at different angles and orientations.
Whether the light is transmitted, reflected, dispersed, or refracted, it is considered polarized when it moves in one or more directions. Horizontal surfaces, such as water, land, or car hoods, typically cause a reverse reflection with a rather high glow.
Your normal tinted sunglasses could shield you from both horizontal and vertical glow. However, it cannot prevent the glare induced by reflected sunlight.
This is where polarized lenses come into play.
What are Polarized Lenses?
Generally, you wear sunglasses to safeguard against the glare caused by horizontal surfaces such as a highway while driving, water while rowing, or snow while skiing. A highly reflecting horizontal surface, such as a lake, will thus generate large amounts of horizontally polarized light.
As a counter-defense, polarized lenses of sunglasses are set at an angle that allows only vertically polarized light to pass through. It absorbs luminous waves in a certain direction.
We fix polarized lenses in sunglasses at an angle that allows only vertically polarized light to pass through from flat surfaces such as water, highways, or snow.
It only lets through the light that does not match its orientation. This results in reduced glare and, of course, a clearer sight. When your vision improves, it naturally reduces eye strain.
Polarized filters are often made of a special chemical coating applied to transparent glass or plastic surfaces during the manufacturing process.
How to Identify Genuine Polarized Lens?
Many sunglasses that are marketed as polarized are not. Cheap polarized sunglasses differ significantly from more superior ones. Cheaper sunglasses may simply contain a thin layer of chemical lamination on one side of the lens. This weak coating may only give limited benefit and can be easily damaged or scraped off.
You may also identify defects in your lenses, as these are often mass-produced lenses of inferior variety.
We use a special film sandwiched between two layers of lens material in superior quality products. Wrapping the laminate protects it from scratches and gives longer life to polarization.
How Polarized Lenses Work for You?
Polarized lenses minimize glare and alleviate eye strain caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. In addition, polarized glasses may help you have fewer acute headaches if you suffer from light sensitivity.
Polarized lenses can also improve visual clarity, contrast, and sharpness, making your surroundings more pleasant. And, when your vision improves, you may be able to cognitively determine what you're seeing quickly, which can aid in boosting response time.
What is Anti-Glare?
Back-glare is a common problem faced with sunglasses. This is light that strikes the rear of the lenses and reflects into the eyes. A protective layer called the anti-reflective (AR) coating minimizes these reflections of the lenses.
This allows more amount of light to pass through the lenses, reducing the light that reflects off them, resulting in lesser glare.
AR coating is laminated on the lens and comprises of a very hard, fine layer. As a result, the intensity of light reflected from the inner and outer surfaces of the film is almost equal. The glare is thereby minimized because the two reflections from each side of the film neutralize each other through destructive interference.
Polarized Lenses are Anti-Glare?
Yes and no, because although polarized lenses have anti-glare properties, the usage is for an entirely different purpose.
The light emitting from sunrays and the blue rays from digital devices are not the same. Natural light has a higher intensity of glare than LED or fluorescent light; both are harmful though.
Hence, the protection from such glares would vary depending on the source of the light.
Polarized vs. Ant-Glare
Polarized lenses, like AG lenses, eliminate glare. However, neither is a perfect solution for every situation. Both are equally good, but their usage depends on what you use your sunglasses for.
Simply put, polarized lenses are designed for outdoor use and anti-glare lenses for indoor usage.
For example, water sports like rowing or yachting require polarized sunglasses to reduce surface glare on the water's surface and to sail without sight hindrances. Likewise, runners and sprinters use polarized lenses to identify road slicks and minor details in terrain.
But for indoor activities like working on a computer or mobile device, which requires depth perception, you need an anti-glare lens. A pilot will have better visual clarity of the navigation system with an AG lens than with a polarized one.
Moreover, polarized lenses are not recommended for nighttime use or in dark environments for safety reasons.
The objective behind using a polarized or an anti-glare lens is eye protection. The radiation from the continuous glare can seriously damage your eyes and might lead to blindness.
Ultraviolet rays are the root cause of several of the most serious eye problems, like cataracts. In fact, a small amount of UV-A which passes through your cornea and reaches your retina, can end up causing macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older people.
The polarized and anti-glare coating can also be applied to prescription eyewear.