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The Difference Between Polarized and Non-Polarized Sunglasses

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As the weather warms up and you prepare to embrace summer, one question you may have thought about is how to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Those harmful UV rays are bad news for the eyes and if you are already thinking of getting sunglasses to block them out, we assure you that you are on the right track.

You may also be wondering if polarised or non-polarized sunglasses would serve you best, and this is where things can get a little tricky as both have specific pros and cons. At Advanced Eyecare, we have the expertise to assist you in choosing the ideal sunglasses to protect your eyes during various activities. Schedule an appointment with our eye doctors in Picayune, MS, and Pearl River, LA today.

Meanwhile, we explain below, how polarised and non-polarized sunglasses are different from each other. Read on to find out which one suits your needs more than the other.


Polarized and Non-Polarized Sunglasses: Pros and Cons

Each of these eyewear has unique features that make it ideal for different purposes. Here are their respective pros and cons:

Polarized Sunglasses Pros

  • They reduce glare
    The most distinctive thing about polarized sunglasses is that their lenses are covered with a special film that reduces glare. Glare is what happens when the sun or some other source of light shines so brightly and intensely that it hurts your eyes.With polarized sunglasses, however, you are protected from glare and this makes it safer to drive, boat, or even fish, especially on sunny days when the water can be highly reflective.
  • Reduce eye strain
    Glare causes eye strain, fatigue, and even headaches. But you can be protected from all that with polarised sunglasses
  • You get better color contrast
    By reducing glare, polarized lenses can enhance color contrast and make things appear more in their original colors.
  • Great UV protection
    Polarized lenses are also treated to provide 99-100% UV protection, keeping your eyes safe from potential eye diseases like cataracts and cancer.

Polarized Sunglasses Cons

  • You may struggle to read some digital screens
    As fantastic as polarized sunglasses are, they also have limitations. One of such limitations is that they can block light from your smartphone, some dashboard displays, and other digital screens, making it difficult to see or read from those screens. This is why pilots are advised not to use polarized sunglasses so they can see their flight screens clearly.
  • More expensive than Non-Polarized glasses
    Polarized sunglasses are usually pricey, making them less appealing to some customers.

Non-polarized Sunglasses Pros

  • Less expensive
    Non-polarized sunglasses are mostly cheaper than polarized ones.
  • Can be better for some activities
    Non-polarized lenses may be better for certain activities where glare poses little or no issues, such as indoor activities or activities in overcast weather.
  • Can also protect from UV rays
    Non-polarized sunglasses are also capable of protecting your eyes from ultraviolet rays from the sun, depending on the quality of the lenses and coatings used.

Non-Polarized Sunglasses Cons

  • They don't reduce glare
    Non-polarized lenses don't have the same glare-reducing properties as polarized lenses, which can be a drawback for activities where glare is a concern.
  • They don't enhance color contrast
    Non-polarized lenses also don't make colors look as bright or clear in the same way that polarized lenses do.


FAQs About Polarized and Non-Polarized Sunglasses

1. How to Tell Polarized and Non-Polarized Sunglasses Apart

You can tell the difference between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses by looking at a reflective surface like water with both types of sunglasses. With non-polarized sunglasses, you may notice some glare on the surface, while with polarized sunglasses, these reflections will be reduced or eliminated, resulting in a clearer view.

2. Should I wear polarized glasses for night driving?

It is not advisable to use polarized sunglasses for driving at night as they can it difficult to see in low light conditions. You may want to consider night vision glasses or wear none at all when driving at night.


The choice between polarized and non-polarized sunglasses will depend on your needs and preferences, budget, and on whether you like to spend more of your time on outdoor exploration or indoor activities.

No matter which group you belong to, Advanced Eyecare is here to help you pick eyewear that’ll give you optimal eye protection, regardless of your age or budget. Our selection includes options that are both high-end and affordable, so you can find the perfect fit for your needs. 

Schedule an eye examination at any of our optometry practices in Picayune, MS, and Pearl River, LA now.