UV vs Polarized Lenses: What are they and their Differences

UV vs Polarized Lenses: What are they and their Differences

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If you are looking for sunglasses to suit your needs, it is best to understand the difference between UV vs polarized lenses. As a general rule of thumb, the former glasses protect against ultraviolet light whereas the latter glasses reduce glare from water or snow. Many more differences can be confusing when selecting what lens will work best for you. This post aims to explain the differences between them to make an informed decision when purchasing new sunglasses! 

What Are UV Lenses?

uv vs polarized lenses

The usage of this variant is quite obvious as its name has already said it all. These lenses are made to protect our eyes from ultraviolet rays, which can be negative or even dangerous for us. Therefore, people often wear this kind of protection to protect their eyes and put on sunscreen for their skin. 

If you think you do not need to protect yourself from these harmful rays if it is cloudy outside, you are wrong! These rays are always around even when the sunlight is so weak. 

Besides making our eyes and skin irritated, UVA and UVB can cause problems with our retinas, the cornea, or even the macular. Once the damage becomes too severe, we can go blind. 

To prevent this scenario, people have been wearing these kinds of glasses whenever they go out, and you should keep doing that even when it is cloudy outside. These will play the role of a “shield” and filter the rays before they reach your eyes. 

Besides glasses, you can wear UV contact lenses if you want to simplify things or you just do not want to wear glasses. Both variants have the same function, but the latter might be more fashionable and convenient. 

When going out to buy this product, a tip for you is to pick those with a rating of at least UV 400. Researching is also necessary as some high-quality products can block up to 99 or even 100 percent of ultraviolet rays. 

Advantages Of UV Lenses

  • They can block harmful ultraviolet rays and protect your eyes from irritating, burning, damaging, or the risk of going blind. 
  • These can reduce the chances of you having dangerous eye conditions caused by the UV rays, like cataracts, pterygium, macular degeneration, photokeratitis, glaucoma, and more. 
  • When wearing them, people are less likely to have migraines or headaches - which UV rays and strong sunlight can cause. 

Disadvantages Of UV Lenses

  • Even though they both can protect your eyes, sunglasses are still better as they can cover better than just your irises. Sunglasses can also protect the thin and sensitive skin around your eyes while the other ones cannot. 
  • High-quality UV contact lenses or sunglasses which can block most or up to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays can be expensive. 

What Are Polarized Lenses?

If you pay attention to surfaces, like trees, rocks, and grass, then you will see that they are not too reflective under the sunlight. They don't cause much glare. Still, different things have different intensities of reflection, and some can hurt your eyes if they glare too much. 

When you are driving out in the sun, you see reflections of things like metal tables, calm water, or mirrors. You will feel the intensity of these reflections,and they can hurt you badly. 

For this reason, polarized glasses are made to filter out the glare or the intense reflected light to keep your eyes from hurting and squinting. While wearing these glasses, you can see things easier when you are outside. This is because most of the stuff you see, whether highly or lowly reflected, will still maintain a neutral look and will not glare too much. 

This variant will allow vertical light to come into your eyes with the anti-glare properties while blocking the horizontal lights to avoid harsh glare. Besides glasses versions, people also have contact lens options that can carry out the same outcome.

Advantages Of Polarized Lenses

The biggest advantage of this one is that they can reduce harsh reflection and glare so you can see things clearly in bright light. 

For those who want to see things better on strong sunny days, these lenses are also helpful. They can minimize color distortion, increase durability and contrast, and boost color vibrancy. 

Both the two variants of this type also play an important role in your visual capacity. They can reduce eye strain, prevent squinting, and keep you from catching migraines or headaches. 

Disadvantages Of Polarized Lenses

You might have some problems with these glasses. They can make it hard to tell the difference between colors that are white on LCD screens.

With the anti-glare function, it can slightly change the real color of the views. So, you might not have the best experiences if you love to see nature and things in their rawest way. They are not so effective with direct sunlight overhead sometimes.

To protect you properly, they should come with UV-blocking elements. That’s also why high-quality ones often cost more than standard ones. 

These glasses might not be attractive for those on a tight budget as they are not so durable.

UV VS Polarized: The Main Differences

UV Eyewear Blocking UV Rays While Polarized Lenses Reduce Glare

Both are for outside wearing, but their original functions have nothing to do with each other. 

The main difference between them is that the UV ones are made to block ultraviolet rays before the light penetrates your eyes. In contrast, its opponent is created to reduce the glare and make you see things better outside

UV Eyewear Is Protective While Polarized Lenses Reduce Discomfort

Yes, the latter can make us feel so comfortable driving out and seeing things, but they were only made for that specific reason, not for protecting your soul’s windows. 

So, if you want to protect them, you should pick the former instead. 

Not All UV Glasses Are Polarized And Vice Versa

Many people complain that they still feel the harsh glare even though they are wearing good UV eyewear, and the reason for this is that not all of them are polarized. 

Yes, your eyes will still be protected with their UV-blocking properties. Still, you might also see harsh reflections of the view and objects around you and get a sense of being hurt. 

On the other hand, not all polarized glasses are UV-blocking either. Even though people have a better experience with these glasses, they are still hurting their eyes. They don't know that the ultraviolet rays are still there. 

The best solution to reduce the glare while getting our eyes protected is to pick a pair of eyewear that have both UV-blocking and anti-glare properties. 


With the information in this blog, we assume that you already understand the differences between the two variants. UV vs polarized - which one is for you? To choose the right one, you must decide upfront whether you want ones that protect you from the sunlight or reduce glare.