Polarized vs. UV Protection Sunglasses: What’s The Difference?

Everyone knows that applying sunblock every day can help prevent your skin from being damaged by the sun. But did you know that the sun’s harmful rays can also damage your eyes? Failing to protect your eyes can lead to eye problems and even diseases. Luckily, many types of sunglass lenses are created to prevent these vision problems. Today we will discuss two types of sunglass lenses: polarized and UV protection. 

The Differences Between Polarized and UV Protection Lenses

Polarized and UV-protected lenses protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunglasses also help prevent uncomfortable squinting and eye strain caused by the sun. We recommend purchasing polarized lenses treated with a UV protection coating. This way, you’ll have the benefits of both types of sunglasses: UV protection with enhanced vision. Continue reading to learn the differences between polarized and UV protection lenses. 


The Benefits of UV Protection Lenses

Wearing UV-protected lenses protects your eyes from harmful UV radiation but does not reduce glare like progressive lenses. As a result, you may experience glare or eye fatigue from wearing UV lenses. 

Benefits of Polarized Lenses

Looking to reduce glare or reflections that interfere with your vision? Polarized lenses may be your answer. Polarized lenses increase your contrast, making colors appear vivid without the annoying glare. They are especially great for use on reflective surfaces, such as water. It can be difficult to see below the water’s surface without a pair of polarized lenses, which allow you to see deeper without the sun’s reflection interfering. Most polarized sunglasses also include UV protection, offering a two-in-one solution. These lenses are especially helpful during foggy or partly cloudy days, as they sharpen your vision. As a result, you’ll experience reduced eye fatigue and strain. 

Important Things to Remember When Shopping for a Pair of Sunglasses

Many different sunglass styles and brands are available – but how do you know which is the right one for you? Follow these tips when shopping for your next pair of sunglasses.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

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

Choose Your Lens Based On Your Lifestyle

There are different lens materials that can be especially great for those with a more active lifestyle. Athletes should choose polycarbonate sunglass lenses, which are tougher than standard plastic lenses. We recommend purchasing frames with colored lenses, such as green or amber. These lenses enable you to see with more contrast. This is especially helpful when doing any type of outdoor activity. 

Stay Protected from UV Rays

Unprotected exposure to UV rays can lead to painful eye diseases and even ocular cancer. To prevent this, purchase a pair of 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. The larger the lens, the more protection it offers. When choosing a frame style, choose a pair with a large or wrap-around lens. 

The Importance of Wearing Sunglasses While Spending Time Outdoors

The sun emits ultraviolet rays, a type of radiation energy. Exposure to UV rays without proper UV protection can cause cancer, loss of vision, and premature aging. As we age, our eyes accumulate damage from the sun. The CDC recommends UV protection year-round, as the rays exist regardless of weather conditions. Research shows that the sun's high-energy UV rays can increase your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and even some forms of ocular cancer. 

There are two types of UV rays you should protect yourself from: UVA and UVB. The most harmful UV ray is UVB because of its high radiation levels. The sun’s rays are most damaging daily from 10 am to 4 pm. If you have light-colored eyes, it's even more important to wear lenses with polarized or UV protection, as light-colored eyes are at a higher risk for ocular damage.

Find Your Polarized or UV Protection Sunglasses at eyecarecenter

Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV light radiation. Eyecarecenter has a large selection of designer brands and frame styles fit for any budget. Find an eyecarecenter location near you to shop our selection of sunglasses in person, or browse our online store

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