Life moves faster than ever these days, both in the workplace and in daily life. Whether youâ€™re riding the open roads on a bike, or working on a construction site, safety is critical. One of the most delicate parts of the body we must protect is our eyes.
Our eyes while small in nature, are massive in terms of how they impact our everyday lives. Without vision, walking and avoiding obstacles is much harder. Reading is impossible without braille text or text-to-speech apps, and even then it takes extra time. Not only that, you would miss getting to see things we take for granted with vision.
Fortunately, there have been great advances in terms of safety eyewear for the workplace, and for leisure. There have been many technologies that are being implemented into protective eyewear that were never thought of decades ago.
One of those advancements is polarized lenses, which help reduce glare off of reflective surfaces. One of the most important aspects of being safe in the workplace is visual clarity. If your vision is obstructed or you can’t see clearly, you could be overlooking a safety hazard because you simply can’t see it. Not only do they offer you visual clarity, but also comfort when outdoors or in certain indoor work environments.
However, to understand polarized lenses and fully appreciate them, you really have to understand how they work.
What Are Polarized Lenses And How Do They Work?
Polarized lenses are lenses that reduce glare and give greater visual clarity by filtering out certain types of light waves. Although more eyewear makers are making regular glasses with polarized lenses, they’re most commonly found in sunglasses and safety eyewear.
So, not only do safety glasses with polarized lenses offer impact protection, UV protection, and other standard safety featuresâ€”they also enhance clarity.
If you want to understand how polarized lenses work first you must understand how light works and how it interacts with different surfaces and objects. Light travels in waves and these waves can vibrate in all directions depending on what they are reflecting off of.
Now, when light reflects off of a surface that is flat such as still water, glass, or even snow, the waves will typically align horizontally which gives off an intense glare. The way that polarized lenses combat this glare is by using a unique optical filter that has molecules within it that are aligned in a certain pattern.
What this pattern does is it only allows light waves that are vertically aligned to pass through the lens. At the same time, it effectively blocks any horizontally polarized light waves. The end result is that the lens absorbs the horizontally polarized light which reduces the glare greatly and also gives the wearer greater visual clarity.
The Polarization Process
To create the polarization effect on a lens it must be laminated with a thin film that contains the molecules that are aligned into the lens itself. The laminate acts as a microscopic barrier that blocks out the light waves that cause the glare and only allows the vertically aligned waves to pass through.
Now you might be asking yourself, â€œWhy is polarization necessary and why is glare bad for visual clarity?â€ When glare occurs it’s because light waves are being scattered in all types of directions. This confuses your eyes and leads to visual discomfort, decreased contrast, and distorted perception. All of these problems can be a serious safety hazard in the workplace especially when dealing with dangerous objects or environments.
Polarized lenses can also offer protection from UV rays which can harm your eyes by incorporating UV filters into the lens material. The filters block both UVA and UVB rays which protect your eyes against dangerous ultraviolet radiation. Over time, exposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to cataracts and conditions such as macular degenerationâ€”both of which severely degrade your vision.
As great as polarized lenses are in reducing glare in certain work environments, they’re not always appropriate for every work environment.
For example, polarized lenses can affect the visibility of electronic screens such as LCD displays. This is because these types of screens actually use polarization themselves to function and polarized lenses interfere with that. In some cases, an LCD screen such as a TV with important data on it may actually seem like it’s off when looking through polarized lenses, until you take the safety glasses off.
A Closer Look At The Benefits
So now that we’ve kind of explained how polarization works in regards to polarized lenses let’s go back and take a look at the benefits that we briefly touched on.
- Glare Reduction: In environments where you experience intense glare throughout your day it can cause a lot of problems. For example, when driving, an intense glare coming from the windshield is dangerous. It could prevent you from seeing obstacles on the road, other drivers, or any other potential hazards. Constant exposure to glare also leads to increased eye strain which can affect your visual health as well.
- Better Visual Clarity: This kind of ties in to glare reduction as with that benefit you do get better visual clarity. So, that will help you distinguish objects that are in harsh light reducing haze off of the horizon and helping you see details better.
- UV Protection: We can’t express enough, the damage that harmful UVA and UVB rays can do to your eyesight. When working in environments with constant exposure to these dangerous UV rays it is imperative that you use protective lenses. Constant exposure to this type of radiation can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and a literal sunburn of the eye.
- Reduced Eye Fatigue: Â When you have glare it’s going to cause extended periods of visual strain which leads to eye fatigue discomfort and can even lead to migraines. Not only can this affect your productivity but more importantly it can affect your focus and mental acuity.
- Versatility and Style: Polarized lenses are also available in various tent colors as well as styles to be able to cater to different work environments. Styles such as wrap-around glasses for added protection from side impact or certain color lenses that enhance daylight vision.
Do Your Safety Glasses Need To Have Polarized Lenses?
Polarized lenses have made safety glasses even more effective with their multiple benefits that enhanced vision and eye protection. If you work in an environment where you experience a lot of glare as well as UVA and UVB rays, you should seriously consider polarized lenses.
If you’re looking for the best selection from the best brands such as WileyX, Â then contact Blue Collar Optics today and we can find the perfect pair for you.