As your eye care professional, we want you and your vision to be as healthy as possible. In the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful bodies of water, and majestic mountain ranges. But our time outdoors exposes us to damaging UV rays. These rays have a damaging effect not only on our skin but our eyes. That’s why we recommend you find a good pair of polarized sunglasses that include UV protection to help maintain healthy eyesight.
What are Polarized Lenses?
Polarized lenses have a special chemical applied to the lens that filters light. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “The chemical’s molecules are lined up specifically to block some of the light from passing through the lens.” They reduce glare and make images appear clearer and sharper.
What are Some of the benefits?
Polarized lenses are beneficial for many reasons. They reduce glare, boost colors, and make daytime driving easier.
Those enjoying the outdoors love them because they not only improve clarity but help to reduce eye strain. The lenses are also able to eliminate temporary blindness from the glare of the sun. Polarized lenses are also great for those recovering from cataract surgery, and those who experience indoor light sensitivity.
You can get polarized lenses over the counter and by prescription.
Defense against UV Rays
Unfortunately, long-term exposure to the sun can put you at risk for cataracts, but polarized lenses help to shield you against the damaging UV rays from the sun’s glare. Make sure your glasses note that they include UV protection, as not all polarized lenses offer UV protection.
When Polarized Lenses Aren’t the Best
There are a few instances where polarized lenses aren’t the best choice. If you are a skier,
you’ll want to stick with traditional sunglasses because polarized lenses don’t let you see bright patches of reflected light, which indicate icy conditions. And because polarized lenses reduce your ability to see reflected light, you won’t be able to see the display of LCD screens like an ATM, or your phone’s screen.
When helping our patients find the best option for their eye care needs, we continuously recommend our patients consider polarized lenses, especially if they enjoy spending time outdoors. And be sure to find a pair that offers UV protection.