Here is another post in my series that focuses on the more technical side of sunglasses. If you are serious about sunglasses, you should understand the differences between plain, transition, and polarized lenses. Why? Because each type is essentially used for different purposes.
As the name implies, the most basic type is plain sunglasses. These are generally the least expensive variety and feature lenses with no special attributes. They do not reduce glare, diffuse light, or self-adjust. However they usually do offer some level of protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and they can be as stylish as any other type. They are also the easiest type to get prescription lenses for.
Transition sunglasses have lenses that actually adjust to different environments. These are ideal for outdoor activities that occur in wooded areas, or any other environment that has varying degrees of sunlight. However, transition shades do not help reduce sun glare.
If you plan to wear your sunglasses near large surfaces that reflect horizontal light and promote lots of sun glare – for example the ocean or ski slope – your best bet to reduce the glare is polarized shades. You can also find sunglasses that are dual-coated with both transition and polarized lenses if you want to spend a little more.
Based on the aforementioned differences, some people who engage in multiple outdoor activities have one of each type. For example, they may have a pair of plain sunglasses for lounging around, a pair of transition sunglasses for biking, a pair of polarized ones for fishing, and a pair of Matrix sunglasses like Neo sunglasses for entering the Matrix (sorry…shameless plug!).
Whatever you do, do not take eye protection lightly. After all, they are the only eyes you have so it’s important to make them last!