Difference Between Polarised and UV Protection Sunglasses


Our eyes are among the most important sensory organs of our body, and also the most delicate. The prolonged exposure of our eyes to the harsh UV radiation from the sun causes a number of severe eye conditions. These conditions include cataracts, macular degeneration, photokeratitis, and eye cancer, which is why people take special eye precautions in the summer. To prevent the harmful radiations from harming our eyes, we wear protective sunglasses. Now, when you visit your local optical clinic, you’ll find that there are multiple types of protective glasses such as UV protection and polarised glasses. Most people are unaware of the difference between UV protection and polarised glasses. This makes it harder to choose the right type of glasses for their purpose. Read on to know the difference between these types of glasses.

Polarised Glasses

UV Protection Glasses

Prevents glare

Prevents UV penetration

Improves clarity 

Improves safety

Recommended while driving, skiing and water sports 

Recommended for general outdoor use for sun protection

May cause occasional distortion while viewing digital displays such as LCD 

No issues while viewing digital displays

These are optional

These are necessary

What do they do?

Polarised glasses come with a special coating that filters out light entering from different angles due to excessive reflection. The presence of glare impairs clear vision by affecting your depth and color perception and may have severe consequences in certain situations such as when skiing. These glasses may block out UV rays to a certain extent, but do not provide complete sun protection.

UV protection lenses protect your eyes from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. These lenses are built to filter out UV radiation from the sun and allow you to go out in the sun without worrying about eye damage. There is a common misconception that dark tinted sunglasses are naturally UV-resistant. This is false as you can get clear lenses with 100% UV protection.

What should they be used for?

Although UV protection is a must for safety against the sun, the same cannot be said for polarised glasses. Polarised glasses are not an absolute must, but should be used in situations when normal vision can get impaired due to bright reflections such as while participating in water sports, skiing and driving. While driving, the polarised glasses filter out glare from opposing headlights, wet surfaces, and other reflections. Although polarised glasses provide enhanced clarity and minimize distortion due to reflections, the degree of UV protection provided by them can vary, and may not be enough.

UV protection glasses are ideal and are a must for everyday use by anyone going out in the sun. Such glasses are especially vital for people who regularly go out in the sun as prolonged exposure to UV rays is what causes eye damage. When you get sunglasses, make sure they provide 100% UV protection. Ensure that they indeed provide such protection by consulting at a trusted optical clinic, since some cheap glasses may not actually give 100% UV protection as mentioned on their labels.

An issue that is associated with polarised glasses is that these lenses may occasionally cause distortion while viewing LCD screens such as on smartphones. Although this is not very common, it is something you should be aware of while buying and using polarised glasses.

You can get UV protection glasses that are also polarised to get the best of both types. However, it is essential that you get your sunglasses from a reliable optical clinic. This will ensure that you wear sunglasses which provide 100% UV ray protection.