How do Polarized Sunglasses Work In This Era?

4 min read

If you have ever made use of polarized sunglasses, you might be eager to know their work. Nowadays, in the technological and digital era, these sunnies play a vital role by protecting from harmful UV sun rays. 

However, this type of shade is the premiere selection for outdoor enthusiasts. It is the better choice for those who live on the water, fishing, boating, and more. In addition, those activities demand the clearest vision from their sunglasses.

The primary benefit of polarized lenses is that they reduce glare. The glare effect is created when sunlight reflects from a flat surface, and the light is reflected in every direction. 

Ordinary tinted sunnies do not block glare; they reduce the brightness level of horizontal and vertical light. However, you have experienced glare or blinding light while outside, which can often impair your vision and cause discomfort.

In some cases, like driving, the glaring light is dangerous. In addition, you can protect your eyes and vision from this harmful glare by wearing designer eyewear. We know that sunlight is scattered in all directions.

In contrast, when it hits a flat surface, light is reflected and becomes polarized. It means the light is more concentrated and travels in a horizontal direction. Hence, this intense light can cause blinding glare and reduce your visibility. 

Therefore, these lenses are designed to shield your vision. In addition, it is an excellent way if you spend a lot of time outdoors or on the road. Now, let us discuss the working of polarized sunglasses in this digital world.

Precise Working Of Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized shades mitigate glare by using a chemical film either applied to or embedded in the lenses. The chemical filter on these sunnies removes glare by absorbing the incoming horizontal light, allowing vertical light to pass.

However, we perceive the glare as it usually reflects horizontal light. The horizontal light creates the effect of glare that is absorbed and nullified by the chemical film on lenses. 

These lenses only allow in vertical light, acting as a chemical blind. Although, light can reflect from different flat surfaces, including snow, water, cars, and roads. It is difficult for us to see when light is reflected and travels in a horizontal direction.

The unique filter in polarized sunglasses blocks out the intense glare. It follows and allows only vertical light to enter your eye. These lenses also offer enhanced colour perception to tinted lenses, making it easier to see in bright light conditions.

This situation is critical to maintaining healthy eyes and vision. So, while wearing these lenses, you may notice a rainbow effect on car windows. Moreover, the pattern you see in a rear car window is the strain pattern from the tempering process.

Similarly, when you wear polarized designer eyewear, you can find subtle dots or lines on rear car windows. In addition, these are sections of the glass that partially polarized light on a horizontal axis.

Since these lenses have a vertical axis, that light is blocked. It is the primary reason behind the appearance of dark dots or lines. Moreover, it is essential to have two polarized filters that are perpendicular to each other.

In contrast, one filter traps light travelling vertically and the other traps light travelling horizontally. The final result of this is that nothing gets through the combined filters. Therefore, it does not affect your clarity of vision.

We know that light waves from the sun vibrate in all directions. Also, it gets aligned in one direction when it is reflected from the flat surface. 

Example of knuckleball to understand a polarizing phenomenon

One way to understand the polarization process is to think of light like a knuckleball. When it leaves the pitcher’s hand, the ball is travelling in one trajectory. But, it is weaving and bouncing up and down along with the left and right sides. 

However, it is erratic and looks like a bundle of unpredictable energy. In contrast, the bat connects solidly; the ball will go soaring back out. Afterwards, it spins gracefully without any of that erratic motion.

In the same manner, light that is reflected from a horizontal surface loses its erratic motion. Hence, it travels in one concentrated beam in a horizontal movement. Therefore, we perceive it as a glare. 

Now, let us step away from reality for a moment but still use a baseball metaphor. You can imagine that the ball that was hit by the batter is traveling in one direction. But now, it moves forward and weaves from side to side. 

After, it is fast coming up on the outfield fence, which is a series of vertical bars. When the ball approaches, weaving left and right, it bounces from the vertical fence posts. It is because there is no way it can pass through moving in a zig-zag horizontal line.

Suppose the same ball travels in a vertical line by moving up and down. It could easily pass through the gaps in the fence because it is in the exact alignment with bars. However, this vertical fence is the polarizing filter in your sunglasses.

When the polarization axis is vertical, all light that has been polarized through reflection is traveling horizontally. This horizontal light will get blocked by the filter. It cannot pass through because it is moving in the opposite direction of the filter.

Similarly, any non-polarized light moving in multiple directions will become polarized after passing through the filter. So, again, it will block the horizontal light, and the vertical light will pass through.


Here, we have discussed the precise working of these lenses in this digital and technological world. You will get to know about the entire polarizing phenomenon and the effects of glare on your eyes. Furthermore, get crucial information about the importance of the chemical or polarizing filter used to remove glare.