Polarized sunglasses are desirable (and slightly more expensive,) because most people know they can greatly improve your vision in bright sunlight. Polarization, when referring to optics, is more than a buzzword or a marketing term. There is science behind why your eyes feel more comfortable, and you see more clearly, when wearing polarized sunglasses. But what does polarized mean?

Polarized sunglasses lenses contain (or have been treated with) a special laminated filter. This filter confines the vibrations of the light coming through the lenses to the vertical plane. This is advantageous because horizontal light causes glare (off of surfaces like roads or a bodies of water.) Polarized sunglasses work by realigning incoming horizontal light. The special laminated filter contains vertical stripes, breaking down glare like a Venetian blind, allowing only vertically oriented light to pass through.

The difference between polarized sunglasses and non-polarized sunglasses is that polarized lenses selectively eliminate the wavelengths of light that cause glare, while non-polarized sunglasses absorb all light wavelengths equally. Other benefits of polarized sunglasses, beyond glare reduction, are enhanced contrast and perception of colors. Learn more about polarized sunglasses or check out some of the brands famous for their polarized lens technology like Maui Jim, Costa, and Serengeti.