Polarized vs. UV Protection: Which Lens Is Right For You?

You probably already know you need to wear sunblock when spending time outdoors, but did you know you also need to protect your eyes from the sun? Our eyes accumulate damage from the sun as we age, making it progressively more challenging to see. It’s also important to know that leaving your eyes unprotected can increase your risk of developing various eye problems or diseases. Purchasing sunglasses with a unique lens, such as polarized or UV ray protection lenses, can help you prevent this damage. 

It's been proven that the sun's high-energy UV rays can increase your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and even some forms of ocular cancer. Those with lighter-colored eyes are at an even higher risk of developing ocular damage from the sun. Wearing sunglasses is essential when the sun’s not visible due to weather conditions, as the UV rays can still pass through the clouds. Make it a habit to wear your sunglasses year-round. The EyeDoctors want to help you decide on your next pair of sunglasses. Continue reading to learn more from your local The EyeDoctors clinic. 

The Benefits of Polarized and UV Protection Lenses

Aside from keeping your eyes healthy, sunglasses also help to prevent eye strain and squinting. Although both polarized and UV lenses offer protection against the sun, polarized lenses and UV lenses are not the same thing.

Reduce Glare with Polarized Lenses

Wearing polarized sunglasses increases your vision's contrast, making it easier to see in bright environments or on reflective surfaces. As a result, polarized lenses reduce glare and eye strain. These lenses can also sharpen your vision during foggy or cloudy weather. 

Protect Your Eyes with UV-Protected Lenses

UV-protected lenses can help shield your eyes against the sun's harmful rays, but UV lenses won't help reduce or eliminate annoying glare that can interfere with clear vision and cause eye fatigue. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, exposure to UV rays can increase your risk of developing eye conditions or eye cancers. Keep your eyes protected with sunglasses that offer maximum UV protection. Although not as effective at reducing glare as polarized lenses are, UV lenses help to keep your eyes protected. 

The EyeDoctors’ Tips on Picking the Right Pair

You’ll soon find many sunglass styles and brands. But how do you know which pair is best suited for you? Here are our tips on picking the right pair of sunglasses. 

Purchase the Maximum UV Protection

Reduce exposure to harmful UV rays with sunglasses that offer 99-100% UV protection. Look for a label that says “UV absorption up to 400nm, " meaning the sunglasses have 100% UV protection. Remember that in most cases, the larger the lens, the more protection it offers. When choosing a frame style, choose a pair with a large or wrap-around lens. 

Function Over Form

It can be easy to choose a pair of sunglasses just for their stylish appearance, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll be protected from the sun. Always read the label or ask an associate for more information about a pair of sunglasses you’re considering purchasing. Lenses with a dark or metallic finish may help reduce the light entering your eye, but it doesn’t always mean they protect against UV rays.

Find Sunglasses That Fit Your Lifestyle

There are a variety of sunglass lens materials available. Some types, such as plastic and polycarbonate, are especially great for those with a more active lifestyle. Athletes should choose polycarbonate sunglass lenses, which are tougher than standard plastic lenses. Frames with colored lenses, such as green or amber, enable you to see with more contrast. This is especially helpful when doing any type of outdoor activity. 

Polarized Lenses with UV Protective Coating: A Powerful Combination

For clear vision with minimal glare and maximum protection from the sun, it’s easy to see that two features are better than one. The EyeDoctors recommends purchasing polarized lenses treated with a UV protective coating.

Explore Our Selection of Designer Sunglasses

The EyeDoctors has a large selection of sunglass styles by designers, allowing you to find the pair perfect for your lifestyle. Find a location near you to shop our selection in person, or browse our online store today!

Council Grove
North Topeka
Junction City
West Emporia
Olathe Mur-Len
Gage Topeka
Topeka South
North Valley Topeka
East Topeka
Lawrence North