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How to Know if Your Sunglasses are Polarized

Neha Deshpande Feb 18, 2020
Have you recently shelled out a good amount buying a pair of sunglasses without checking whether it is polarized or not? This story helps you to find out the truth for yourself.

Did You Know?

Maximum polarization effect can be obtained when the Sun is at a 37-degree angle (approx.) from the horizon.
Various brands around the globe provide designer polarized glasses that protect our eyes from harmful UV rays. Normal sunglasses do reduce the integrity of light and glare, but they can still cause strain to your eyes. Polarized sunglasses eliminate this glare and allow you to admire the minute details of nature.
These glasses are recommended to avoid poor visibility and discomfort to your eyes on a bright, sunny day. They are quite popular among people for some outdoor activities, like fishing, cycling, driving, etc.

Polarized sunglasses are generally priced more than that of normal sunglasses, and you need to be quite careful while buying one.
Many of the retailers claim that there are glasses to be polarized but you may end up buying the knockoffs. If you buy one in the shop, make sure it comes with a warranty and other documentation, and if you are planning to buy it online, run any of the following tests and you will know what the truth is.

Ways to Know if Your Sunglasses are Polarized

Image or No Image?

If you are buying sunglasses from a retail shop, make sure you test them there itself. Many outlets will provide you with a blank gray color strip that acts as a tester. When you look through your sunglasses directly (and if the glasses are polarized), you will be able to see a hidden image in that strip. If it remains gray, then it is better that you don't buy it.

Is Your Computer Screen Changing Color?

Computer screens use the same technique of polarized glasses. So, another simple method is to sit in front of your computer, start one of the applications on it, and wear your glasses. Tilt your head to the right, then to the left, and look directly at the screen. If the screen goes dark at a certain point, then your glasses are polarized.

Do You See Darkness or Light?

Hold a pair of sunglasses that you need to test in front of any light. Then take another pair of sunglasses and hold it in such a way that they overlap each other.
Rotate it till it is at a 90-degree angle with the other one. Now look through it. If both the glasses are polarized, then the light will be blocked, and if you are able to see light, then your glasses aren't polarized.

Is the Glare Eliminated?

Polarized sunglasses are preferred by many as they comfort your eyes and eliminate the glare and haze. One more test that you can do is to stare at a reflective light surface without wearing your glasses for a few seconds. If your glasses are polarized, you will be able to stare at the same thing with ease, and the glare will be eliminated to quite an extent.

Can You Spot the Fish?

Wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses, and look into a lake or fishing spot. You will notice that the intensity of light has decreased and the picture has become darker. Now, wear polarized sunglasses and look again. If the glasses are polarized, the water will appear transparent to your eyes, and you will be able to see underwater elements clearly.
You can attempt any of the above tests to find out if your sunglasses are polarized or not. Try to avoid buying cheap polarized glasses, as the quality will not be up to the mark and you can't be sure of the protection it will provide.