Optometrists and opticians both agree that wearing sunglasses has significant benefits for your eyes’ health, but which type offers the most protection? The array of available coatings, tints and price ranges can make your decision more challenging. Although high-priced glasses are constructed with premium materials, some may not protect your eyes from blue light or UV rays.
Blue light is emitted from the sun and electronic devices like computer screens. Although your body needs blue light for healthy sleep, too much blue light can damage your eyes and lead to eye strain and headaches.
When shopping for sunglasses, pay close attention to the product description to ensure the lenses block UV rays and blue light. Polarized lenses are widely available and designed to filter out blue light and improve the contrast of colors.
How Polarized Lenses Filter Out Blue Light
Unlike a standard sunglass lens, polarized lenses use a vertical filter finished with a special coating to filter out more sunlight before it reaches your eyes. The design of the filter minimizes the blue light entering your field of vision.
When the sun’s rays travel towards the Earth, they move in a vertical direction, but when the rays hit the Earth, the resulting light and glare are perceived as horizontal light. If you’ve stared at a flat body of water on a cloudless day, you’ve likely noticed the bright line of glare across the water when the sun is overhead.
With a polarized vertical filter, the horizontal light is unable to penetrate the lens as effectively as it would with a horizontal filter. If you spend a lot of time outside working or playing, a polarized lens helps minimize your exposure to harmful blue light.
The tint of the lens can also play a role in reducing blue light. Opticians recommend using an amber, brown, green or yellow polarized lens for optimal blue light protection. Dark blue and black lenses still filter out blue light, but they’re not as protective as lighter colors.
Added Benefits to Polarized Lenses
Whether you’re looking for polarized sunglasses for women or men, you can’t beat the superior protection from polarized lenses. In addition to reducing blue light, polarized sunglasses are highly effective at decreasing glare.
Reflective surfaces that create glare can cause eyestrain and headaches if your eyes are not appropriately shielded. You can see the difference between polarized and standard lenses by looking at a reflective object in the midday sun with a pair of traditional sunglasses and then switching to polarized glasses.
Colors appear brighter and more defined with polarized lenses. Like the contrast level controls for a video screen, polarized filters reduce the reflective light that distorts colors, and the image appears crisp and clear. For hunters, bird watchers, surveyors and construction workers, polarized sunglasses are necessary for distinguishing multiple color patterns on sunny days.
Compared to standard lenses for sunglasses, polarized lens offer superior blue light protection, reduced glare and greater color contrasts. So, the next time you or your father, son or grandfather needs a pair of sunglasses, pick up a pair of mens polarized sunglasses for the ultimate blue light and glare protection.