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How to Tell if Your Sunglasses Are Polarized – 5 Ways to Check

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keyhole sunglasses

There are five different ways that you can check to see if your glasses are polarized: the computer screen method, water method, driving method, appearance method, and nonpolarized comparison method. We recommend trying multiple of these methods to determine if your sunglasses are polarized. 

For a complete explanation of each one of these methods, keep reading. This article can help you determine if your glasses are polarized and gives you information about why you should be wearing polarized glasses in the first place. Let’s get started.

How to Tell if Your Sunglasses Are Polarized – The Top 5 Ways to Check 

There are several different ways that you can check if your glasses are polarized. Here are the five most effective methods:

1. Computer Screen Method

Photo Credit: SFIO CRACHO, Shutterstock

Put your sunglasses on and look at a computer screen while the monitor is turned on. Move your head around and tilt it to the left and right. Does the screen brightness change whenever you move your head? If so, your glasses are polarized.

2. Water Method

If you live near a big body of water, go out to the water on a sunny day. Note the reflection before and after putting on your glasses. If the reflection from the water goes down after you put on the glasses, your glasses are polarized.

3. Driving Method

man driving with polarized sunglasses
Photo Credit: laradsv, Pixabay

Even if you don’t live around a big body of water, you can use the reflection method while sitting in your car. Notice the reflection from the asphalt or other cars before and after you put on your glasses. If the reflection is notably decreased whenever you put the glasses on, your glasses are polarized.

We named this method the “driving method” because it mimics how your vision will be improved while driving. However, don’t perform this test while you are actually driving. Instead, perform this test while you are sitting in your vehicle or by standing outside. Performing this test while driving is unsafe.

4. Appearance Method

Polarized glasses look different from other glasses. In most cases, polarized glasses have darker lenses than standard tinted glasses. This is not always the case, but if the appearance of the lens is darker than tinted glasses and you’ve used the other methods, the glasses are probably tinted.

5. Nonpolarized Comparison Method

Of course, you can always compare your glasses to a pair that are not polarized. If your new glasses change the reflection and brightness way more than nonpolarized glasses, the new pair is likely polarized.

Benefits of Wearing Polarized Glasses

If your glasses are not polarized, it’s a good idea to purchase polarized glasses instead. Polarized glasses are very beneficial, especially if you work outside or expect to be wearing your glasses a lot.

Increase Vision

man wearing polarized sunglasses
Photo Credit: birgl, Pixabay

Most notably, polarized glasses help to increase your vision. They provide increased contrast and minimal color distortion, and they reduce glare and reflection. As a result, your vision will be clearer when wearing polarized glasses.

Reduce Eyestrain

With clearer vision, you won’t have to strain your eyes as much either. This reduced eye strain is beneficial if you suffer from headaches related to vision. Reduced eye strain also helps to keep your eyes in peak condition.

Safer Environment

Between increased vision and reduced eye strain, you will often be safer when wearing polarized glasses. Whether you are driving or fishing, your increased vision gives you a better chance of having a safe and enjoyable time.

Final Thoughts

If you are wondering whether your sunglasses are polarized, we recommend using one of the five methods above. For a more definite answer, use multiple of these methods back to back so you can fully see how your glasses interact in different scenarios.

In the case that you cannot conclude if your glasses are polarized, take them to eyeglass professionals. Most professionals will be happy to take a look at your sunglasses and tell you if they are polarized for free.

If you find that your sunglasses are not polarized after performing these methods, we recommend purchasing a pair of polarized glasses. Polarized glasses will help to increase your vision, reduce eyestrain, and create a safer experience. Hopefully, your glasses will be polarized!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.