Polarized sunglasses are one of our most popular lens choices. They are remarkably effective at :

  • HELPING YOU SEE MORE CLEARLY – While eliminating the horizontal light waves, polarized lenses allow the vertical light waves in. These are beneficial to the human eye for seeing more clearly. Your surroundings appear sharper and have more contrast.
  • ELIMINATE GLARE – Light that reflects off of surfaces is composed of horizontal light waves which can hinder vision. Polarized lenses have a special filter that eliminates this glare for a better seeing experience.
  • REDUCE EYE STRAIN – The sun’s reflections on various surfaces keep your eye busy at work adjusting to the glare. This causes your eyes to strain over time. Sunglasses with polarized lenses help alleviate this.
  • IDEAL CHOICE – for outdoor use by skiers, golfers, boaters, and other sportsmen.

However, there is one activity where polarized lenses are actually detrimental: flying.

WHY SHOULD PILOTS NOT WEAR POLARIZED LENSES

 

In fact, the very reason why polarized lenses are so effective is the reason why they are not recommended for pilots to wear. Polarized lenses diminish glare by absorbing and blocking incoming horizontal light, while allowing in vertical light.

First, this effect can cause issues in the cockpit in regards to the aircraft’s instruments. Polarized lenses can reduce the ability to read instruments that already incorporate anti-glare filters. Additionally, they interfere with the ability to read LCD instruments, which emit polarized light.

When looking outside the cockpit, polarized lenses can also cause issues. Polarized lenses interfere with seeing out the aircraft’s windscreen by enhancing striations in laminated materials. And of course, glare can be helpful for noticing another aircraft in traffic situations. Seeing a shimmer of glare come off another plane’s windscreen can be essential for visibility and safety.

Reducing glare is often a desirable effect for your sunglasses. However, pilots too often rely on polarized instruments and polarized windscreens for them to be effective. Even without these issues, pilots need the effects of glare off of other aircraft for additional visibility and safety. If you’re taking to the sky, go with a non-polarized lens in a neutral color such as gray, green, or brown.