Polarised Sunglasses – for a better view
Polarised / Polarized sunglasses were invented by Edwin Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation, and first launched in the USA in 1935.
Polarised lenses are different to standard sunglass lenses; they have a special film either applied to the front of the lens or sandwiched between two other layers of the lens in the manufacturing process.
How polarised sunglasses work
Light is made of particles called photons, which travel through the atmosphere like a wave, zig-zagging back and forth on their way to your eye. Natural, unpolarised light consists of photons bouncing in many directions at once. But as soon as they strike a surface like a road or water they begin vibrating in one direction, usually horizontally. This is called polarised light and it's this harsh concentrated light - glare - that make it difficult to see and uncomfortable for your eyes.
The polarising filters used in polarised sunglasses absorb these horizontally-vibrating waves that reflect off a surface. That means that only vertically-vibrating waves get through the filter and reach your eye. This greatly reduces the intensity of reflective glare. The graphic below shows how polarised sunglasses block this polarised light.
Non-polarised sunglasses only reduce the amount of light entering the eye; they don’t block glare.
Glare not only makes it difficult and uncomfortable to see but causes eye strain. It also distorts the true colour of objects and makes them harder to distinguish. With polarised sunglasses you get glare-free vision, clear contrasts, more natural colours and reduced eye strain or fatigue.
Glare also causes a mirror-effect on water. As a polarised lens will eliminate glare on the water it reduces eye strain and means you will be able to see down below the surface.
Because polarised lenses block glare off a surface they are popular with sailing, boating and watersports enthusiasts, fishing enthusiasts, snow sports enthusiasts, runners, cyclists and drivers.