polarized sunglasses

Polarized Sunglasses vs. UV Protection Sunglasses

Did you know that every year 3.2 million people go blind from eye conditions caused by prolonged exposure to UV? Scary, we know and that’s why you can count on Fashion Eye Center for expert Arizona eye care. As your Tucson eye care optometrist specialists, we don’t take this subject lightly. Arizona eye care is a priority. Polarized sunglasses and UV protection are both essential in this state. On average, there are 286 sunny days per year in Tucson. What does that mean? It means we need quality eyewear protection to guard our eyes against harmful rays from the sun.

Here, we will be covering two types of protection that your sunglasses need to have whenever you are outdoors. UV protection protects your eyes from the dangerous rays of the sun while polarized sunglasses eliminate glare. Having ultraviolet protection is crucial while polarization is more of a preference. These two are similar and work the same way but offer different benefits. Polarized glasses do offer better image clarity but do not come with full UV protection. Seeing a Tucson eye doctor to get your sunglasses or eyeglasses checked is your best bet for assured protection.

polarized sunglasses

Polarized Sunglasses

How do polarized sunglasses work, and what does polarized mean, you ask? Polarized lenses have a unique chemical film coating that helps eliminate or reduce glare. Glare is caused when light from the sun is reflected off of water or a solid surface. Have you ever noticed when you are out at the beach or lake, the glare reflecting off the water causes blurry vision? When light is reflected off of water or solid surfaces, the reflected light shines back at your eye and is magnified which results in a glare. Polarized lenses filter the light that comes in from different angles and allow you view objects clearly. Without polarized protection, depth perception is reduced, distorted view and color perception occur, and in some cases, you could be temporarily blinded. Polarization is useful for many outdoor activities including driving, extreme sports, water sports, and fishing. Better yet, prescription polarized sunglasses are also an option for anyone who needs corrective eyewear. The benefits of polarized sunglasses are endless and can save your vision!


UV Protection Sunglasses

Ultraviolet eye protection matters, especially out here in the Arizona sun. Too much exposure from the sun’s UV rays has been linked to extensive eye damage. This can include cataracts, pingueculae, macular degeneration, and even sunburns on your cornea. Not only protecting your eyes from the sun, it’s important to wear sunglasses in the shade too as UV rays reflected from buildings and other surfaces are dangerous. UV sunglasses are also a necessity in the winter as snow can reflect 80% of UV rays. Ultraviolet radiation and your eyes do not mix well together. Being prepared with protective eyewear will save you in the long run.


The American Optometric Association suggests when purchasing sunglasses, consider the following:


  • 99 to 100 percent protection of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
  • Some contact lenses provide UV protection but they don’t cover your entire eye. Sunglasses are still needed.
  • Look for lenses that are gray or brown for proper color recognition.
  • Invest in wraparound-style frames because they limit sunlight to your eyes.


Think of UV protection sunglasses and polarized eyeglasses as sunscreen. UV protection sunglasses are SPF 45 and polarized are SPF 15. The more protection you have, the better care you are taking of your eyesight. Are you ready to protect your eyes this summer with protective fashion eyewear? Make your appointment today to check out our designer frames and protective eyewear!

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