When shopping for your next pair of prescription sunglasses, you may be wondering what polarized sunglasses are, and if you can get them in your prescription. Read on below to learn more.
How do Polarized Lenses Work?
The sun emits vertical waves that bounce off of surfaces at a 90° angle to create horizontal, or polarized, waves. This is why reflective surfaces, such as water, metal, or snow become much brighter in direct sunlight.
This is also why polarized lenses exist. They work similarly to Venetian blinds. By applying a film to the lens in vertical strips, the sunglasses allow vertical but not horizontal light in. The effect dramatically reduces glare, which is great in sunny weather. Learn more about polarized sunglasses by reading What Are Polarized Sunglasses?
The Cons of Polarized Lenses
Regardless of their benefits, not everyone likes polarized sunglasses. For example, they can affect your depth perception. The amount ranges from person to person, but it's usually not significant enough to severely impact sports performance. We still don't typically recommend polarized lenses for golfing, baseball, cycling, or mountain biking. In the case of road cycling or motorcycling, polarized lenses make it difficult to spot an oil slick on the road. For sports such as baseball and mountain biking, there is usually little to no glare, so there isn't as much need for a polarized lens.
Polarized sunglasses can also make it hard to read digital displays. This is because many phones, computers, and even car dashboards already have a polarizing filter on them. However, there's an easy fix—rotating the screen by about 90° will usually solve the issue.
Some companies such as REVO have developed polarized lenses that are electronic-device friendly to combat this issue, but the majority of polarized lenses can make a phone or computer screen look blacked out or appear in rainbows.
Do Polarized Lenses Affect the Prescription?
Because a polarizing filter is a film on the lens, it won't affect your prescription. It's not an option with every type of lens, but it's still possible to get polarized prescription sunglasses.
For some types of prescription lenses, such as bifocals, the polarized version may not be available in the exact color you wanted. However, this is more due to bifocals being a less common lens type than it is about polarized lenses being incompatible.
You can find polarized sunglasses almost anywhere, but on cheaper sunglasses, the polarized filter can peel off or not block out as much polarized light as you need it to. We sell several brands, such as Costa and SMITH, that guarantee 99.9% of glare blocked. These brands also apply the filter differently. The filters are part of the lens itself, so they won't ever come off.