Personally, I don’t like wearing sunglasses. They make everything darker and more difficult to see, without actually making an appreciable difference in glare. Added to that, my myopia made getting sunglasses a time-consuming affair, anyway, and too much effort for too little benefit.

Recently, however, I lost my regular prescription glasses, and had to make do with contact lenses for a while. As it happened, I became the only one in the editorial team that wasn’t wearing glasses, which meant I was perfect for trying out the Polaroid Polarized Sunglasses that had just arrived in the office. Thrilled? Not quite.

But these aren’t ordinary sunglasses – as the name suggests, they feature polarised lenses, which are promised to virtually eliminate glare, reduce eye fatigue and increase contrast, all characteristics beneficial to the act of driving.

not-polarized-vs-polarized

The synthetic polarised film used in these lenses was invented in 1929 by Edwin H. Land, who went on to found the Polaroid Corporation. In fact, the Polaroid name was first popular on polarised sunglasses, before it became synonymous with instant cameras.

So how do polarised lenses work? When light reflects off surfaces such as roads or other cars, it travels in two directions – vertically, which enables us to see, but also horizontally, which simply causes uncomfortable glare. At the core of a Polaroid Ultrasight lens is a vertical polarised layer which only allows vertical-aligned light to pass through, blocking horizontal-aligned light from reaching the eyes.

If you have used a polarising filter on your camera to take pictures, you would have already seen the benefits of such lenses. Apart from reducing overblown highlights, you also get less reflections off shiny surfaces as well as deeper colours, all thanks to the magic of polarisation.

As soon as I hit the road with the shades on for the first time, the difference was night and day. Despite the sun being right at eye level, it was not uncomfortable to look out the windscreen and continue driving – normally, I would have had to deploy the car’s sun visor just to avoid squinting. It made everything much easier to see, and my eyes were far less tired at the end of the drive.

There were a number of other benefits as well, some I wasn’t expecting – for example, dashboard reflections on the windscreen were almost completely eradicated, making the view of the road ahead quite a lot clearer than before. Everything was also more clearly defined (there’s the increased contrast for you), and even the cars on the road look better, because the colour of their paints were deeper!

The Polaroid Polarised Sunglasses have certainly changed the way that I look at sunglasses, and I would definitely continue to use them for the foreseeable future! They are available in a wide range of timeless styles and colours to suit every look and need, and can be had at any reputable optical shop.