THE TRUTH ABOUT POLARIZED
By Jason P. Allemond, O.D.
On a daily basis, I hear complaints from patients about their difficulty and discomfort with their vision while in the sun. We often discuss the advantages of quality sunglasses with UV protection. Is this all that we can do to decrease glare and visual discomfort while in bright sunlight? This depends on a few factors. Most people have heard of polarized lenses; very few however, understand what a polarized lens is, and what it can do for them. Very simply put, a polarized lens blocks horizontal light rays that enter the eye. So if someone spends a lot of time in situations where they are looking at flat surfaces, a polarized lens may be good for them. Situations where this is advantageous would be for watersports such as fishing, boating, driving and sports enthusiasts. Polarized lenses don't work well for pilots and for those who need to look at LCD screens. These are situations in which light may enter the eye at angles other than a flat surface, and therefore they would be disadvatageous to one's vision. So for the right person, polarized lenses do indeed decrease glare, improve contrast, allow for truer perception of color and improve visual comfort.
Jason P. Allemond, O.D.
Williamson Allemond Regional Eye Center