Sunglass Lenses 101 |

Sunglass Lenses 101

In the past I have written about specific features of specific types of Matrix sunglasses as well as other styles of sunglasses, but I have never provided a list of the typical options regarding the lenses themselves.  So, I thought for this post I would discuss the primary types of lenses available for sunglasses.

Polarized lenses: These are specially-made lenses that filter out horizontal light in order to reduce the glare from reflective surfaces.  These are must-haves for fishermen, boaters, skiers, and other folks who engage in activity near large, horizontally-reflective surfaces.

Gradient lenses: These multi-shaded lenses tend to be dark at the top, and then gradually get lighter as you move down the lens.  These work well for driving, as the dark upper half reduces glare while the lighter bottom half allows you to concurrently monitor the dashboard with no eye strain.

Double gradient lenses: These are similar to gradient lenses, with the exception of the gradient pattern.  Specifically, these lenses are dark near the top and near the bottom, with the vertically centered area a lighter tint.

Blue-blocking lenses: Contrary to their name, this type of lens is usually an amber color.  Blue blockers reduce blue light, which is believed to cause cataracts and macular degeneration. 

Mirrored lenses: These lenses have mirrored surfaces which hide your eyes and reduce light penetration.  The main benefit is that they look cool, as their light-blocking effectiveness is debatable. 

Photo-chromic lenses: This type of lens self-adjusts its darkness depending on how much UV light is present.

Believe it or not, this is only a partial list!  However these are the most common types.  The bottom line is to choose sunglasses appropriate for the activity at hand.  For example, if you like to fish then make sure you have sunglasses with polarized lenses.  If you are a truck driver, consider gradient lenses.  If you are a pilot, try blue-blocking lenses.  If you find yourself in The Matrix, try a pair of Morpheus Sunglasses.  You get the idea.  Your vision is just too important to wear sunglasses ill-equipped to handle the activity at hand.

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