Polarized lenses have surpassed polycarbonate lenses as the fastest-growing category in lens sales. Today’s polarized lenses come in a spectrum of possibilities. Not only are polarized lenses available in many styles from single vision to progressives, they now come in many different lens materials and colors, too. Even photochromics are now available in a polarized version.
How They Work?
Polarized lenses contain special horizontal polarizers or filters that help reduce glare off water and things such as paved roads. They also help enhance colors and vision in some high-glare situations. The lenses are invaluable in high-glare situations, such as driving, boating, golfing, surfing, and fishing. Polarized lenses also help reduce glare, which can be a real problem in water sports and many other outdoor activities.
Which Color Lens is Best?
Some lens colors perform better than others, depending on lighting conditions and environment. For example, a dark gray tint works best for intense glare and bright sunlight encountered when driving, boating or deep-water fishing. Melanin and Brown C tints improve contrast and work well in bright conditions for golf, snowmobiling, and shallow water fishing. Green works well on bright days for tennis and baseball. Orange and yellow tints block blue light, and perform best under low-light or overcast conditions. These may be used for shooting, biking, and skiing. Red works well for low-light fishing, skiing, while violet or purple can be used for golf on overcast days.
Patients with macular degeneration (or at risk for it), should consider a Melanin tint. Melanin is a golden brown color that provides the most UV protection while maintaining true color balance.
Some polarized lenses can block the reflected light of LCDs, too. These are the lights in many dashboards, bank automated tellers, and other electronic devices. So, if you use a PDA, laptop, or have an electronic dashboard, you may want to check and make sure that the polarizing lenses you choose will not block out LCD light, too.