Polarised lenses an important factor when choosing sunglasses

Polarised lenses an important factor when choosing sunglasses
A member of Evenk folk music and dance ensemble "Osiktakan" is reflected in a spectator's sunglasses at the 14th World of Siberia International ethnic festival in the Siberian village of Shushenskoye in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia. photo: Reuters

Peter Koh Yeo Liong

Published: 4:00 AM, July 12, 2017
Updated: 7:49 AM, July 12, 2017

As an eye-care practitioner of close to 40 years, I applaud the article “More to guarding against sun damage than meets the eye” (July 5), on the urgency for Singaporeans to wear sunglasses with 100 per cent ultraviolet protection.

It listed the basic requirements of fully functioning sunglasses and came complete with tips to help everyone make choices that benefit their eye health. With many cheap options available here, that was excellent.

Another element to seek out in high-performing sunglasses is polarised lenses.

While not as crucial as UV protection, polarisation filters come a close second because good quality polarised lenses can virtually eliminate the sun’s glare from one’s eyes, on top of blocking UV rays.

This is the key to visual comfort, especially for light-sensitive patients, such as those recovering from cataract procedures.

This optimises safety during driving, especially when sunlight is reflecting off long stretches of road, or off surfaces such as dashboards and bonnets. This may cause one’s eyes to squint or shut, thus compromising the visual field.

Also, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts, who encounter the sun’s rays bouncing off water surfaces, would benefit for the same reasons and would probably improve their performance because of the comfort polarised lenses provide.

Additionally, the lenses can be customised to one’s prescription.

As the sun’s glare gets more intense in our equatorial region, sunglasses are no longer only an accessory or option, but a must-have for vision wellness.