Polarised lenses have been available for decades but over time much research has been undertaken to assess the ocular benefits of polarised lenses.

But what are Polarised Lenses?

Light rays travel in all directions but when light rays reflect from a surface the light rays tend to be strongest in the horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Polarised lenses, unlike a standard tint, are laminated with millions of parallel rows of tiny iodine crystals or dichroic dyes which are minute vertical stripes that only allow vertically angled light to enter the eye. Glare is therefore eliminated because the horizontal and diagonal light waves cannot bypass the vertical filter. Polarisation blocks as much as 50% of the light passing through a lens to the eye and although the eye looking through the lens can still see clearly it reduces the brightness and glare of light and associated reflections.

Sunglasses and camera lenses are often polarised to reduce glare from surfaces, such as light reflecting from the surface of a lake or the bonnet of a car. Importantly, most polarised lenses block UV-a and UV-b radiation and some even UV-c.

Because the polarising stripes reduce the amount of light entering the eye, these lenses should not be used at night or in other situations where clear lenses are required. Polarised lenses can cause distortions in the way wearers see liquid crystal displays (LCDs), rendering some cell phone screens, clocks, and other displays unreadable. Pilots should not use polarised glasses because they can make flight instruments difficult to read and other objects in the sky — including other aeroplanes — less visible.

Maui Jim Sunglasses

Drawing on my own experience I have been wearing polarised sunglasses for about 15 years, and quite frankly I’ll never wear anything else. Reading a book in the sun is comfortable and rather than scrunching up my eyes to reduce glare I can be contented and read for longer with the polarised lens.

We now stock Maui Jim sunglasses available as prescription and non-prescription sunglasses but also as an off the shelf bifocal reader. There are many styles, shapes and lens colours to suit every wearer; the golfer, the sailor, the cyclist, the walker or for just looking fabulous having a long summer lunch outside or reading by the pool. Have a look on their website: Maui Jim.

Alternatively, Varilux lenses by Essilor are also available in more complex prescriptions in a range of polarised colours.

If you have any queries about the options available to you, or would like to view the collection, please contact the East Grinstead practice to book a no-obligation dispensing appointment with Nicola or Annie.