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Do Polarized Lenses Protect Against UVA And UVB?

Tifosi Jet Sunglasses

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Polarized lenses are used to reduce the glare and reflections of light. They also reduce the amount of ultraviolet (UV) rays that enter the eye.

Polarized sunglasses are used to protect your eyes from glare caused by reflected sunlight off objects like water, snow, sand, pavement etc. However, polarized lenses do not protect you against UVA and UVB. Protection from ultraviolet rays is a different aspect of sunglasses.

Do Polarized Lenses Protect Against UVA And UVB Rays?

Polarized lenses are often used to protect the eyes from the sun’s glare. They are also used to reduce the effects of reflected light, which can cause eye strain.

However, polarized lenses do not offer protection against UVA and UVB rays.

This is because protection from UV is usually done via an anti-reflective coating and polarization is done by construction of the layers of the lenses. In fact, that is one of the primary ways that sunglasses protect eyes.

What Exactly Is Polarization In Lenses?

Polarized lenses are made up of two sheets of polarized plastic, with one sheet on top and one on bottom. The top sheet is oriented in a horizontal direction while the bottom sheet is oriented in a vertical direction. This reduces glare by blocking light waves that are coming from horizontal directions, which reflects off surfaces like water or snow.

When sunglasses can block the horizontal light, it effectly blocks the glare which is what polarized lenses are.

Non polarized lenses do not block this direct light and puts a strain on eyes. When you are talking about the difference between polarized and non polarized sunglasses, this direct bright light is the real difference.

What Is The Difference Between UVA And UVB Rays And Which Is More Harmful?

The difference between UVA and UVB rays is that UVB rays are more likely to cause sunburns. The other difference is that UVA rays can penetrate through glass, while UVB cannot.

UVA rays are the ones that are more harmful to human skin. They have been found to be associated with wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.

Ideally, your sunglasses will block both UVA and UVB. The protection sunglasses provide is often on the label when they are new.

So having full uva uvb protection is the goal here.

How To Tell If A Pair Of Sunglasses Protects From UV Rays

In order to determine if a pair of sunglasses protects from UV rays, you need to know the rating. The rating is usually on the lens or on the inside of the frame.

The rating can be in a variety of scales, but most often it is in a star system. The more stars that are present on a product, the more protection you can expect from that product.

The most UV protection sunglasses can provide is UV400 protection, which provides 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. This is what you are trying for with UV protection. Protect eyes the smart way and ensure whether you have polarization or not that you have full UV protection.

What Is The Difference Between Sunglasses And Polarized Lenses?

Polarized lenses are a type of lens that filters out light with a particular orientation of the lens layers. Their goal is to reduce glare off of shiny surfaces and get rid of that bright light you get that you often put your hand up to block its so bright. It comes off of windows, puddles, and things of that nature.

Sunglasses, on the other hand, are typically designed to protect the wearer’s eyes from the sun’s glare and reduce the amount of light coming into their eyes.

The sunglasses polarized lens are made a special way so it’s part of the construction. UV protection is a coating put on top of the lens. So a lens can have both UV protection and polarization. In fact, most polarized sunglasses do block 100 percent of the dangerous UV light.

Polarization is important, so the recommended method is to pickup some polarized sunglasses and get the best of both worlds. There are a lot of differences when you compare polarized lenses to lenses without polarization and for the little cost it’s well worth it.

How To Choose The Right Pair Of Polarized Lenses For Your Needs

Picking the right pair of polarized lenses or glasses that protect from UVA and UVB can be a bit of work. Luckily, I have put together some excellent lists of the best cycling sunglasses online as well as a list of many cheap cycling sunglasses under $40. There are pairs for under $20 that provide you with much-needed eye protection on that list.

The key is you need sunglasses that provide full UV400 protection to maintain eye health.

In fact, if you are going cycling late in the day, I even have a list of clear cycling glasses that are either yellow or clear and many even have full UV protection.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed