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Polarized Safety Glasses: What Are They and Why Do You Need Them?

Polarized Safety Glasses

The reflected sunlight can be very harmful to our eyes. You can even get blind from intense light or get ping term damage from it. If you are in a field of work where you require to work out in the sun, then you must consider having polarized lenses in your safety glasses. 

Typically sunlight is not a big issue in one’s daily life. The utmost UV protection that a person’s eye requires to protect itself is usually provided by the standard tinted lenses of a usual pair of sunglasses. But when it comes to glare, it is different from the regular light, and reducing glare is the core reason for wearing polarized lenses in sunglasses. 

What Exactly Is Glare?

When sunlight beams at the earth, then due to the uneven surfaces, the beam of light diffuses into manageable intensities, which can comfortably cope with your eyes. 

But in situations when the sunbeam hits smooth surfaces like water, glass, or other such reflective surfaces, then it can radiate an intense, blinding beam of light straight into the eyes that will result in a wince, looking away and trying to blink away the impairment to sight. 

To make it more understandable, it can be said that to be hit by glare is just like looking straight at the sun itself, and everyone knows how harmful it is to the eyes.

If you face such glare in your everyday life, then taking a break from what you are doing and trying to recover from a sudden glare of the reflected light may not be such a big problem for one. But what if you are facing this every day at work?

Well, if you are using some heavy machinery at site work, it can be very harmful even if you face a few seconds of sight loss. Glare is not just an issue for hot or sunny environments. It can even be encountered in snowy regions. 

People who work in snow-covered regions are at risk as the snow is a highly refractive substance that can smoothen irregular surfaces that would usually diffuse sunlight.

What are Polarized Safety Sunglasses?

Most people know about polarization due to sunglasses. Mostly you will notice people using polarized sunglasses while driving. Whereas when it comes to operators of heavy machinery then, even a few seconds of sight loss can lead to dangerous results. 

The polarized safety glasses utilize a similar technique on the lenses. Still, it is applied to drinks that have been tested and rated to the highest standards of safety for Industrial Work. 

How Is It Done?

The lenses are coated with a chemical, and the molecules in the chemical create a barrier pattern that will filter out the light from traveling horizontally, just like a light beam that has just bounced on the mirror-like surface of still water. 

To understand all this from a scientific point of view, imagine the light in terms of waves. A sunlight beam that hits a non-reflective surface is diffused into vertical light waves of less intensity. The UV rays that hit a reflective surface maintain a much higher intensity and travel as a horizontal wave of UV light. 

Here, the polarized lenses only allow a vertical beam of light to go through, eliminating glare. On the other hand, the horizontal light is reflected.

In What Kind of Activities Polarized Safety Sunglasses Are Needed?

  • Water sports – Any sports on the water will require eye protection. Glare happens most commonly on the surface of the water. Keep in mind that here the main focus is on safety glasses, not just the regular sunglasses. So protection of eyes from hazards like impact or salt water spray is also necessary. 
  • Snow sports – Any kind of winter sport that includes snow comes with the risk of glare. The scratch and impact resistance glasses are a good choice for such sports. 
  • Cycling – There are standing pools of water that create glares and other reflective surfaces of vehicles or other things that harm the already vulnerable cyclist. A rider’s best defense is observation. Hence, eye protection is crucial in this situation. Many factors like wind, sweat, rain, harmful UV rays and road grit are dangerous for a cyclist, and polarized safety glasses help to protect against all these factors.
  • Motoring – It’s a big responsibility to control and manage speed and direction, whether off-road or on the road. It’s not about the rider’s safety or the person on board. They also have to take care of those around them. A hidden vision is vital for performance. 
  • Outdoor Industrial Processes– Working on a site includes perhaps a wide range of eye hazards.

Also, Check – Summer 2022 Guide to Allergies

Pros of Safety Glasses Having Polarized Lenses

If you use polarized lenses in your safety glasses, then it will outweigh the drawbacks mentioned in the below point. Below mentioned are some advantages of it:

  • Glare reduction – Protects eyes against dazzling UV light.
  • Improves safety – For the people who operate heavy types of machinery or vehicles or for those who are in similar fields, these glasses are a great way to protect their eyes.
  • Maintaining eye health – These have built-in UV protection 
  • Higher productivity – For the people who work outdoors in the sun, glare and UV light may fatigue and result in eye strain. So, wearing polarized sunglasses reduces this risk.
  • Functionality – It includes all the advantages of having strong but still lightweight protective eyewear that is enhanced with the addition of protection from glare by polarized lenses, so you won’t have to choose from either. 

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Polarized Safety Glasses?

There are some things to remember whenever you are deciding if polarized safety glasses are the right choice for you:

  • Darker outlook – With every tinted lens, the brightness of a person’s eye view is darkened. With the use of polarized, this is again darker with lesser color contrast. 
  • Reduction in device usability – If you are wearing polarized lenses, viewing screens of a few devices may get a bit difficult because the light from LCDs travels similar to glare.
  • Daytime only – The polarized lenses have light-reducing power such that in conditions like at night, it will become counterproductive if you wear them.

Bottom Line 

Polarized safety glasses are just the perfect sunglasses that a sportsperson or an outdoor working person requires. It protects the eyes from glare in two ways – one by the specially designed frame and the second by the polarized lenses. It is mainly required in water sports, snow sports, cycling, motorcycling, or industrial outdoor works. It is much more beneficial than the regular tinted sunglasses, sports glasses, or the standard prescription safety glasses as these are polarized safety glasses.

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