Why Do Pilots Wear Non-Polarized Sunglasses?

A formal uniform, great shoes, and a cool pair of glasses have been the universal look of pilots. Yet, have you ever wondered why do pilots wear non-polarized sunglasses?

We will answer this question during this article by learning what eyewear can do to our eyes and why aviators do not wear them. Read on!

why do pilots wear non polarized sunglasses

Why Do Pilots Wear Non-Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses are so popular for us, especially for those who go out a lot. We can see things better even in strong sunlight with this eyewear, as the polarized lenses (PL) will help reduce the glare. 

As you know, lights come to our eyes from both vertical and horizontal directions. While vertical lights do not cause glare, horizontal lights do as they create horizontal reflection. 

For this reason, PL is made to filter horizontal light to minimize reflection and glare while allowing us to see things with vertical lights. However, this advantageous characteristic is why aviators cannot wear them. 

When an aviator is doing their job in their cockpit, they need to read instruments. As there are LCDs in most cockpits, polarized sunglasses can reduce or limit their ability to read these LCDs. 

On the other hand, it can reduce glare, which means the pilot might find it difficult to see the glare coming from another plane's windscreen. 

As aviators need to concentrate while doing their job to ensure that the flight is successful and safe, anything that might block their view or reduce their ability to see things is not recommended. 

For these reasons, aviators do not choose PL while working in their cockpits.

What To Look For When Choosing Sunglasses For Pilots

Now that we know aviators should not wear PL while working, does this mean they should not find a pair of eyeglasses to protect their eyes? It does not need to be that way because they can still find a pair of great eyewear with specific features. 

Here are some factors aviators should look for in their glasses:

The Material Of The Lenses

There are three main materials used to make lenses, including plastic, glass, and polycarbonate. Different materials can result in different optics' quality, impact residence, scratch resistance, weight, etc. Depending on your demands, some of these are more suitable. 

If you prefer quality, then glasses lenses will be a better choice. Meanwhile, in case you love to carry a light pair of eyeglasses while working, then consider plastic or polycarbonate. 

The Tint Of The Glasses

Tinted eyeglasses look cool, but as we know, they can easily change the way we see things in their raw color if there is too much tint. So, aviators should choose eyeglasses with enough tint to relax their eyes but still allow them to see things in their real colors. 

If the glass has a reasonable tint for color and amount of tint, the pilot can avoid color distortion and change their vision. 

There are different colors of tinted eyeglasses for you to choose from, and it is more advisable to pick violet, blue, or grey instead of brown, red, or green ones. 

While the violet, blue, or grey ones can still reduce glare and help you relax, brown, red, or green ones might cause too much contrast, which will change the color of the environment too much.

When You Need Corrective Lenses

Some aviators might think about using contact lenses, but sometimes, they are not allowed to do so while working. So, corrective lenses might be what they need. 

If a pilot needs to wear corrective lenses, then it is better to pick ones made from polycarbonate instead of glass! In particular, polycarbonate can do a better job in these circumstances. 

Pay Attention To The Frame

The frame of your eyeglasses will also decide how comfortable or annoying it would be to wear while you are in the cockpit. The first thing you need to ensure is that the frame must suit your face, and the next thing is to check whether it's a great option for your job.

If you have no idea which one to pick, there are brands made for aviators that you can check. You can also ask the store seller or research before buying them. 

Whether The Glasses Compatible With Other Devices 

While doing their job, aviators might wear gear and work with other devices like equipment, helmets, headsets, masks, etc. Due to this reason, a pair of eyeglasses that are not compatible with all of these devices might be annoying and troublesome to wear.

They Need To Fit Your Face Perfectly

It is not comfortable if the eyeglasses keep falling off your face because they are too big or hurt your face and nose when they are too tight. 

Even when unfit eyewear can be fine for other people, the pilot needs perfectly fit ones because when they are flying, the aircraft will go up, down, side, which will make it fall off your face easier. 

The Credibility Of The Brand

If you buy eyeglasses from credible brands and manufacturers, their quality will be ensured. Some brands offer you Returning or Changing Policies if you feel like the ones you buy from them are not the best suitable for you.

Many brands make eyewear especially for aviators so they will fit you well, enhance your vision, and relax your eyes at the same time.

The Coatings Of The Lenses

The coating is applied to lenses for many purposes, but aviators especially need those with UV-blocking coating to protect their eyes. The coating needs to be appropriate for them - which can ease their eyes and increase their ability to see things. 

Your Gender

Gender is the least important factor in choosing a pair of glasses, but you should pay some attention to them. 

Normally, the men’s ones are bigger, so they might not fit too well when women use them. If you are a female pilot, it is better to pick those that are made for women. 


Why do pilots wear non-polarized sunglasses? As we all know, these eyeglasses can affect a pilot's vision in their cockpit, which is not recommended for them. 

Through this blog, we hope you already have some ideas of how to find the best-suited pair of eyewear for you if you are an aviator or want to choose them as a gift for your loved one.

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