Why are polarized sunglasses so popular in winter sports? Because they offer the best protection for your eyes! Those flashy metallic coatings that grace the lenses of polarized sunglasses are more than just a pretty face. They’re an ally in the battle to protect your vision without impeding on your fun while you enjoy your favorite winter activities. What makes these specialized lenses such a powerful tool? Read on to find out.
Polarized Sunglasses vs. Traditional Lenses
On the surface, the differences between traditional sunglasses and polarized sunglasses may seem purely in appearance. They do, in fact, have some similarities. For example, both polarized lenses and tinted lenses help reduce the intensity of bright light. Without sunglasses, our pupils constrict as much as possible to minimize brightness when we are outside in the sun. However, our pupils can only constrict so much before we are forced to squint to protect them or close our eyes completely. Neither of those is a great option if you are, say, operating a snowmobile, or bombing through Mirkwood on Monarch Mountain. You need to see, and you need to see well.
- Tinted Glasses
Tinted lenses are coated with a layer of dye that reduces the amount of light that hits the surface of your eye when out in the sun or in a particularly bright space. That means that your pupils can then relax enough to take in more of the world around them without pain. Tinted sunglasses are an easy way to help you navigate the average day out in one of Colorado’s 300+ days of sunshine.
- Polarized Glasses
Polarized glasses take eye protection one step further. Polarized lenses have a special chemical coating that helps absorb glare in a way that regular tints cannot. What is glare? Have you ever glanced at a lake and found yourself suddenly blinded by the reflection of the sun? Have you stepped outside the lodge to hit the ski slopes and felt your vision assaulted by the white gleam of the snow in every direction? That’s glare and it’s caused by horizontal light. It can cause enormous strain on your eyes and make it impossible for you to see.
The chemical coating applied to polarized lenses absorbs most horizontal light, allowing only vertical light to come through. In doing so, it cuts the glare from painful and blinding to an acceptable level of brightness. Some experts have compared it to peering through a picket fence or Venetian blinds. Let’s learn more about what that means.
Other Helpful Benefits of Wearing Polarized Sunglasses
In addition to cutting the glare that can make winter sports a lot more dangerous, polarized sunglasses also make wearers more comfortable.
1. Rest: Reduces Strain on Your Eyes
Spending an entire day squinting against the glare of the sun is extremely tiring for your eyes. Your body is commanding them to “see harder” through your semi-clenched eyelids while also telling them to avoid the glare by constricting your pupils to a pinprick. Your pupils work overtime to accommodate the persistent flashes of horizontal light that hit the surface of your eye every time you cease squinting. This puts a strain on your eyes and can cause tension headaches or even migraines. Polarized lenses give your eyes a much-needed break by taking on the burden of filtering those harsh beams
2. Accuracy: Gives You a Clearer View of the World Around You
Polarized lenses also help with clarity of vision, something that is extremely important when you are participating in winter sports. You need to be able to differentiate humans from trees when sledding, for example, or monitor the frozen surface of a lake when ice fishing. Since your eyes are able to relax instead of repelling a glaring assault of light, you can actually see the world around you. That is why polarized lenses are preferred by competitive athletes, hunters, and other individuals involved in activities where precision is the key to success.
3. Safety: Protect Your Eyes, Protect Yourself
Perhaps the most important benefit of polarized lenses is how they help you protect yourself by improving your vision. Winter sports present unique dangers not found in other seasonal activities. The reflective glare of the snow alone dramatically decreases your ability to see without polarized lenses. The activities themselves require quick responsiveness to prevent accidents or injuries. By improving your visual acuity and easing eye strain, you can be more vigilant and respond more quickly to hazards in your path.
Let Us Help You See Clearly This Winter!
Don’t fly (snow)blind this winter. Get the gear you need to make the most of your adventures. We can help you select the perfect pair of prescription polarized sunglasses to fit your needs this winter. Give us a call to set up an appointment to discuss your options!