Now that this winter to beat all winters is finally fading, it’s time to put away thoughts of the Polar Vortex and start looking forward to that pair of polarized reading sunglasses you’ll definitely want to pick up for those sunnier, warmer months ahead. Here’s why:

reasons to wear polarized reading sunglasses

The Glaring Situation

Picture yourself on a beach, or stretched out on a patio chaise lounge, enjoying a great summer read (perhaps one of the books we mentioned here). You’ve got on a pair of reading sunglasses, but you still find yourself twisting and fidgeting to avoid that annoying glare coming off the water, sand, or concrete patio deck. Your neck starts to feel a bit tight, and eventually, you think, “I should put this down for a while. I’m getting a headache.

What Causes Glare?

Light shines and reflects around us in all directions. Vertical light from the sun or a lamp, especially shining down from over our shoulder, enables us to read comfortably. Light that bounces off water, sand, and other reflective surfaces flashes straight at us, resulting in the bright glare that can lead to eye strain and lessen the pleasures of a good book.

How Polarized Readers Work

Glare magnifies the difference between light and shadow. Regular sunglasses and reading sunglasses work by reducing all of the light. The glare may be dimmer, but it can remain just as distracting. Polarized reading sunglasses have been coated with a special film that actually blocks glare by filtering out horizontal light rays and only allowing vertical rays to pass through. Imagine a dirty kitchen window on a bright, sunny day. The smudges and streaks deflect the sunlight and cause glare. Lower the blinds, however, and it’s much easier to see outside between the slats that block the smudgy glare from above and below.

Test Your Pair for Polarization

At this point you’re probably wondering if the reading sunglasses you already have are polarized. Here’s a quick and easy test (and you can find even more here)! Flat panel LCD computer screens emit polarized light. Look straight at your computer screen wearing your reading sunglasses and you can probably see the display normally. Tilt your head left or right, however, and the image will dim if your lenses are polarized. It may even disappear, because if you block both vertical and horizontal light, there really isn’t much left to see. Your computer screen didn’t dim? Then your pair isn’t polarized.

Check out our selection of polarized reading sunglasses (and keep your eyes safe outdoors all season long with reading sunglasses). Looking for polarized fit-over pairs to wear over your regular readers?

Trust us! Your eyes will thank you.

Disclaimer: All references to “bifocals” herein refer to readers having unmagnified lenses containing a “bifocal style” single powered reading glass insert located in the lower portion of the lenses.