Polarized sunglasses are special eyewear with lenses designed to improve vision in strong sunlight. They protect the eyes from glare, a phenomenon that occurs when light bounces of objects in a way that obstructs vision. However, polarized glasses are not appropriate for every occasion. They have disadvantages that make them impractical in certain situations.
Not Appropriate for Snow Sports
In some specific conditions, polarized sunglasses can be inefficient for use during snow sports. Polarized sunglasses can make it difficult to differentiate ice patches as a result of sunbeams reflecting off the snow during downhill skiing or snowboarding. This can be very dangerous, because if the skier or snowboarder doesn’t see where he is heading, he has no time to react and can fall.
Not Always Appropriate for Driving
Although the main feature of polarized sunglasses is the ability to reflect glare, which makes them excellent for driving, they can in some circumstances be unsuitable driving. Polarized glasses make liquid crystal displays (LCDs), which also reflect polarized light, practically impossible to read from some angles. These type of displays are very commonly found in dashboards of cars and other motorized vehicles, which means that wearing them during driving can potentially be dangerous.
Not Appropriate for Flying
Polarized sunglasses can also be dangerous for pilots. Although polarized sunglasses were first worn by pilots, their applicability in this profession has faltered with the widespread of LCD screens in dashboards of airplanes. As pilots cannot afford to lose sight of the dashboard, polarized glasses are not appropriate eyewear for them.
Polarized sunglasses tend to be more expensive than ordinary sunglasses. If you are looking for sunglasses for winter sports, driving or flying, polarized lenses may not be worth the extra expense.
References and ResourcesEye Care Blog: Merits and Demerits of Polarized Sunglasses
Aero Experiments: Polarized Vision for Pilots and Hawk Watchers