Polarized Lenses

What Are They?

Polarized lenses are made to reduce the glare of light from objects around you, particularly outdoors. This is why they are only found in sunglasses, either prescription or non-prescription.

Light is made up of waves that are oriented in all directions. A polarized lens has a laminated filter that only allows light from one angle to enter, usually vertically oriented light. With horizontal light waves blocked, the glare is diminished or completely gone.

How Are They Made?

Polarized lenses are made when organic dyes and metallic oxide pigments are mixed into the lens material, making them part of the lens rather than just a coating. Care is taken to keep color distortion at bay, making gray the most popular color of polarized lens. Brown and amber are other common colors but while many other tints are available they may cause too much color distortion.

What Are the Benefits?

Polarized lenses are highly recommended for people who spend an abundance of their time outside.

  • Polarized lenses reduce glare, or bright light reflected from surrounding objects. This is particularly dangerous when driving or walking near vehicular traffic since light glaring into a driver’s eyes can cause an accident.
  • Polarized lenses also reduce eyestrain. Most of us squint at glare; when glare is gone there is no need to stress your eyes to see clearly.
  • Polarization can provide extremely crisp images with dazzling colors, which is why it is often used in photography.
  • Polarized lenses provide protection from UV rays although the protection may not be significant depending on the construction and quality of the lens.


Polarized lenses tend to make LCD screens difficult to read, often causing the text to disappear completely. This has become more problematic in recent years due to the proliferation of LCD screens. For most it is a minor inconvenience but for machine operators who must be able to read those screens, it can be dangerous. However, BluTech outdoor lenses are polarized and still allow you to see those LCD screens!

Also, as noted above, while polarized lenses can protect your eyes from UV light, the amount of protection varies. Be sure to check labeling for specific UV protection claims.

While polarized lenses may seem to be a great tool for skiers, they can actually compromise the light contrast that alerts the skier to specific conditions such as being able to distinguish between ice and snow, or the presence and shape of moguls. However, polarized lenses are excellent for water sports where glare from the water can be a nuisance or a nightmare.

The next time you need replacement lenses, don’t be surprised if anti-reflective treatment is suggested by your eye care professional. And if you love or work in the outdoors, in bright sunshine or even hazy conditions, polarized lenses can help you see better and protect your eyes.