Your life and eyes 3 min read

How do polarised lenses work?

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You have no doubt experienced glare or blinding light while outside, which can often impair your vision and cause discomfort. In some cases, such as driving, it can even be dangerous. You can protect your eyes and vision from this harsh glare by wearing polarised lenses.

Sunlight is scattered in all directions, but when it hits a flat surface, light is reflected and becomes polarised. This means the light is more concentrated and usually travels in a horizontal direction. This intense light can cause blinding glare and reduces your visibility.

Polarised lenses are designed to shield your vision, which is great if you spend a lot of time outdoors or on the road. So, what are polarised lenses and why might you need them?

What are polarised lenses?

Light can reflect off a number of different flat surfaces, including water, snow, cars and roads. When light is reflected it travels in a horizontal focus, making it difficult for us to see. The unique filter in polarised lenses block out the intense glare that follows and allowing only vertical light to enter your eye.

Find out how polarised lenses work

Polarised lenses also offer enhanced colour perception compared to tinted lenses, making it easier to see in bright light conditions. Xperio Polarised lenses offer the highest level of UV protection within the Essilor range. This is incredibly important to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

When wearing these lenses, you may notice a rainbow effect on car windows. The pattern you see in a rear car window, for example, is the strain pattern from the tempering process.

Similarly, you may notice subtle dots or lines on rear car windows when wearing polarised lenses. These are sections of the glass that partially polarise light on a horizontal axis. Since polarised lenses have a vertical axis, that light is blocked, which is why it appears as dark dots or lines. This is essentially like having 2 polarised filters that are perpendicular to each other. One filter traps light travelling vertically, while the other traps light travelling horizontally. The result of this is that nothing gets through the combined filters. It doesn’t affect your clarity of vision

Why might you need to wear polarised lenses?

Polarised lenses are beneficial for a number of activities, and are helpful for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. One particular activity that requires clear vision is driving. Cars and roads, especially wet roads, can create a lot of glare and even your own dashboard can reflect the sunlight in a distracting manner. Polarised lenses are able to reduce this glare and make it safe to drive, even in bright light conditions.

Couple walking on the beach

Polarised lenses are often worn by those who spend a lot of time on or near water. Those who partake in fishing and boating activities may benefit from the features of polarised lenses, just make sure if you’re a competitive fisher that your competition allows you to wear polarised lenses. Likewise, snowboarders and skiers may find that these lenses enhance the visual experience by reducing glare from the snow and ice.

If you suffer from light sensitivity, or you have recently had cataract surgery, polarised lenses can provide protection from the bright light that may cause you severe discomfort.

With summer only around the corner, make sure your eyes are sufficiently protected from glare and UV light with polarised lenses.


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