In recent years, polarized sunglasses have gotten more and more popular. Originally used by sailors, boaters and fishermen to reduce the glare caused by sunlight reflecting off the water, polarized lenses can prove greatly beneficial for outdoorsmen of all kinds. Whether you golf, bike, jog, or simple like to spend a lot of time out in the sun, polarized lenses can help make your experience more comfortable and safe.

Polarized lenses are especially popular amongst people who drive a lot. Polarized sunglasses are specifically made to reduce horizontal glare from light reflected off long flat surfaces, like roads and hoods. Also, people with particularly light-sensitive eyes can benefit greatly from polarized sunglasses, as it protects them from over exposure to bright, intense indoor lighting.

The Way Polarized Sunglasses Work

Light reflected off smooth, flat surfaces becomes horizontally polarized glare. Polarized sunglasses are vertically oriented in order to keep horizontally polarized light out, and thus reduce irritating glare considerably.

Some experts, however, remain divided on whether people should use polarizes lenses for snow sports, especially fast paced snow sports like skiing. This is because, even though polarized sunglasses can reduce glare from snow-reflected light, they also reduce visual contrast, an effect which is amplified in snow settings. This can be very dangerous, since it can make it hard to distinguish snow patches and other hazards.

Keeping polarized lenses on while looking at liquid crystal displays, or LCDs, might not be a good idea either. LCD screen are used commonly today in many ATM machines and cashier registers, as well as in cars' in-dash navigation systems. The problem with looking at them through polarized lenses is that, at certain angles, LCDs become invisible through polarizes lenses.

But that aside, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds can benefit from owning a pair of polarized sunglasses. Today, you can find such lenses in a variety of styles. For people with especially sensitive yes, the polarized photochromic sunglasses are recommended. These change from dark shades (for outside use) to clearer shades for inside. Smith Optical in San Diego carries a large selection of these polarized sunglasses.

So whether you're planning on going fishing or sailing, hiking, golfing or are simply getting ready for a long road trip, make sure to come equipped with a good pair of polarized lenses.