Are Polarized Lenses Worth the Cost?

Eyes are the window to the soul. Protect them.

Sunglasses aren’t simply an accessory worn to match your attire, they’re a single, bold statement about who you are. Since they’re worn on your face, it’s the first thing people notice when they see you. While many designs may look similar, anyone that’s ever spent half a day trying on sunglasses at a retailer knows that when you find the right pair, you know.

Some people have a personal collection that would rival a Luxotica warehouse. You’ve got a pair for the beach, a pair for driving, a pair for work, a pair for going out, and maybe just a pair that look good resting on your head. Or perhaps you have just one pair for all occasions because you were lucky enough to find a pair that look perfect on you.

While it’s hard to go wrong with classic wayfarers, it’s important to keep in mind that those bargain knock-offs you got on the stand from some guy at the mall at a whopping 3 for $20 may come at a price: your eyes.

Are Polarized Lenses Worth the Cost?

A resounding, Yes.

Polarization is the single greatest factor you should consider when picking out a new pair of shades. Okay, so maybe the single greatest factor you should consider after, “How do these look on me?” While I could bore you for hours talking about the various methods manufacturers use to create the polarizing effect, I’ll keep it simple.

When purchasing sunglasses, just remember UV400. UV400 means that the lenses provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

If you’re thinking, “Well even if they’re not polarized, they’re better than nothing, right? Wrong.

Wearing sunglasses that do not have polarized lenses will actually have the opposite effect, and may cause more damage to your eyes than wearing no sunglasses at all. This is because the dark tint of the lenses causes your pupils to dilate, which actually increases UV absorption. While it may feel more comfortable on your eyes to darken out the sun, it’s actually more damaging to your eyes and can even cause macular degeneration which leads to cataracts and loss of vision.

Have you ever turned on the lights in the bathroom at night and seen your eyes in the mirror? Your pupils will appear larger than normal. Within a few seconds of the light being on, they return to normal size.  If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. It’s pretty cool. This is your body’s way of trying to help you see better in the dark. The pupils dilate to allow more light in and improve your night vision. Now, what does this mean when you’re outside on a sunny day wearing shades that aren’t polarized? Your eyes think that it’s nighttime, and your pupils dilate to help you see better in the dark. That’s when the sun’s damaging rays come pouring in. So the next time you’re looking for a new pair of sunglasses, make sure they come equipped with UV400 lenses. You’ll thank yourself later.

SHARE
Brian Underdahl

Brian Underdahl is President and Founder of Island Inspired sunglasses retailer, Hammock & Palms. (hammockandpalms.com) He received his bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Georgia. After a few years of group employee benefits sales, he joined the Army National Guard to pursue his dream of flying. After service, he returned to his entrepreneurial roots and has since founded multiple startups in diverse industries; including fashion, telecommunications, and Indonesian fish import/export.  Most recently, he became a franchisee of U.S. based juice bar franchise, I love Juice Bar. (ilovejuicebar.com)