Why do polarized lenses hike up the price of those smooth looking prescription glasses you were checking out? A conspiracy guy might think it’s some kind of retail sales gimmick to fatten the bottom line. The good news is that polarization is actually a thing and provides real benefits in certain light conditions. First let’s lay out what polarization treatment is and then decide if you actually need it.
Ever find yourself practically blinded by the intense light reflection from a wet street or snowy field? It’s called glare and is a result of the sun’s rays bouncing off water, ice and other shiny surfaces.
Polarization is a chemical treatment applied to lenses engineered to filter and absorb glare. It is a time consuming and labor intensive process evident by the 20% price gap between polarized lenses vs. non.
Polarized prescription sunglasses neutralize extreme reflected light providing comfort and better visibility while preventing eye fatigue. If fishing, hanging at the pool and other outdoor lifestyle events are your jams then no doubt invest in polarized shades. Golfers, runners and bikers also benefit from the clearer view delivered by polarized lenses. For other activities and everyday use, it’s more your preference and for some unique situations polarization is straight up dangerous. Here’s why…
Since snow is guilty as charged for causing glare, polarized lenses are a no brainer for skiing right?…..wrong. The desired effect of polarization actually hides hazardous ice on the trail putting the skier/snowboarder at risk.
In addition, polarized prescription sunglasses are notorious for distorting LED, LCD and other electronic displays. So much so for example it is against the law (yes illegal) for pilots to wear polarized lenses while flying an aircraft.
Another example is polarization treatment not playing nice with motor vehicle glass which has their own light filters. This affects motorcycle riders especially those cruising long term directly behind the back window of a car or truck. The vinegar and oil dynamic between the polarized lenses and the auto glass wear down eyes, induce headaches and most of all compromises safety.
Polarized Prescription Shades Yes Or No?
Short answer: Yes! Once you experience the difference of polarized prescription sunglasses versus straight up UV 400 you’ll understand why the new shades are worth the few extra bucks. Indulge yourself or better yet step up for the health of your eyes, polarized sunglasses are definitely the real deal.