Sunglasses are important whatever the situation and not wearing shades on a sunny day means your eyes are not protected from the dangers of UV light. Sports sunglasses are available to suit all budgets and in various models, but if you regularly take part in outdoor sporting activities, polarized sports sunglasses are a smart choice.
What are Polarized Lenses?
When sunlight hits a horizontal surface, it creates glare. This is most obvious when sunlight bounces off water, but it can also be a problem when it hits other reflective surfaces such as car windscreens and oily road surfaces. Glare prevents us from seeing properly and in certain situations, it can be dangerous. Polarized sunglasses cut down the glare from reflected sunlight and allow you to see what is actually there.
The Benefits of Polarized Lenses
When you wear polarized sunglasses, your vision is truer and life is a lot more comfortable. Instead of squinting at your surroundings, you can see without hurting your eyes and details are a lot more precise, which in a sporting environment, is crucial.
Water sports – Water is a massively reflective surface and when the sun hits it, the polarizing glare can be horrific. Anyone who enjoys water sports will know just how difficult it can be to see on a sunny day. Polarizing sunglasses are ideal for water sports because they block the glare and allow you to see things beneath the surface of the water. So you can go sailing or water skiing without worrying about the glare of the sun ruining your ability to spot obstacles ahead.
Cycling and other road sports – On a hot sunny day, the glare of reflected sunlight on a greasy road can be quite difficult to deal with. It can also be dangerous, particularly when you are cycling in heavy traffic, so if you are a keen sports enthusiast and you spend a lot of time on roads, invest in some polarized sunglasses to keep you safe from harm.
When Wearing Polarized Lenses is a Bad Idea
There are some instances when wearing polarized lenses is not advisable. Skiing and other snow sports is one such occasion when wearing polarized sun glasses could do more harm than good. The reason why is simple: if you wear polarized sun glasses to help you cope with the glare when skiing or snowboarding downhill, you won’t be able to spot the difference between snow and ice, which could lead to an accident.
The same applies if you are taking part in a high-speed racing event on the road, such as motorcycle racing. Polarized lenses won’t help you distinguish between oil, ice and water, and if you hit either of the first two at speed, it will end badly.
Polarized sports sunglasses should be labelled as such. Prescription sunglasses are also available with polarized lenses, so make sure you ask your optician before you buy a new set of shades for the summer. And remember, not all polarized sunglasses are equal – the more expensive the brand, the better the product will be at filtering out glare.