Why I recommend polarized lenses for outdoor wear

In so many of my posts, you’ll hear me reference Polarized sunglass lenses for my outdoor glasses.  I think it’s time I explain WHY I recommend polarized lenses over just a standard tinted lens.

There are three reasons we need additional protection when we are outside, regardless if you need vision correction, meaning you wear prescription glasses, or not.

The first reason is ultraviolet (UV) protection. Any eyewear you wear outside should have 100% UVA and UVB protection. Your sunglasses do not need to be polarized to have this.

The second reason is the brightness of the sun affects our overall vision. Have you ever walked inside after lunch on a really bright, sunny day and you felt like your vision just wasn’t as sharp as it was before lunch? It’s not because you ate too much and you’re tired. It is because your eyes are recovering from the time in the sun. To be non technical….it was once explained to me that your eyes recover after being in the sun much like your hot water tank has to fill back up and heat back up. Your eyes are recovering in the same fashion. Now, for the technical explanation….Sun, or intense sun glare from snow and sand, can cause a sunburn like effect in the eye which requires time to heal. Damage can be done in as little as two minutes. I will put some additional articles at the end of the post if you want to read more on the topic.

The third reason is the blinding polarizing glare caused by the sun. This is where polarized lenses come in and help you. Polarizing glare affects your depth perception. Imagine an animal or child running out in front of you on a street. Being able to see and stop quicker is critical to keeping yourself and others safe.  Polarizing glare can also cause temporary blindness. I know we have all been driving down the street, go around a bend, and all of a sudden you can’t see anything from the blinding glare of the sun. Polarized lenses may not remove all blinding glare 100% but it will help 100% more often than not having it. It is very rare for me to be a victim to the blinding glare when I have a quality pair of polarized lenses on. When you just have tinted lenses (non polarized sunglasses) it just darkens everything, it does not stop the blinding glare from the sun.

You should still put a quality anti reflective coating with UV protection on the back of your polarized lenses. Reflective glare is not the same as polarizing glare. The UV protection in the anti reflective coating is not the same as the UV protection in the actual lens. They serve two different purposes.

OK, so now you understand WHY you should have polarized lenses but remember they are not all the same.

For non prescription, my favorite brand….which will be no surprise if you follow me….is Maui Jim. In my opinion they have perfected the true art of polarized lenses. You can find a location nearest you by clicking here: Maui Jim retail locator If your current budget just doesn’t allow you to splurge on a premium pair of non prescription polarized sunglasses, a brand I like for their quality and price is INVU Eyewear. They have stylish frames, good polarized lenses, at an affordable price. Of course there are many quality brands that offer polarized lenses. Just ask your optician to show you some. Yes, you CAN have an optician work with you even if you do not have a need for a prescription

For prescription polarized sunglasses, of course my first recommendation would be Maui Jim again. Again, their quality is superior. Color is sharp. Optics are clear. They do have some prescription limitations so if you have a higher prescription, try seeking a location which offers both their sunglass and ophthalmic (non sun) collection. You can put a higher prescription Maui Jim polarized lens in one of their ophthalmic frames. I’m not a huge fan of the Maui Jim ophthalmic lenses right now but love having their ophthalmic frame collection to offer more options for sunglasses. If your budget does not allow for Maui Jim sunglasses, work with your optician to see what options they have for prescription polarized sunglass lenses with backside anti-reflective coating with built in UV protection. Many times they offer 2nd pair discounts you can take advantage of. If your optician isn’t sure if they offer a UV filtering backside anti reflective coating make sure they find out before you purchase. Without it, you are just reflecting that uv right into your eyes.

Different color polarized lenses can serve different purposes. I will be discussing different colors and different mirrors in another blog so be sure to follow me to get an alert when that posts.  You can also discuss the different color options with your optician to determine the right color for your needs.

Overall, when you are outside, it is important to have the right eyewear.  Did you know certain types of lenses work better in foggy conditions?  A different pair would work better on a rainy, summer day.  Don’t want to carry a bunch of sunglasses around?  Talk to your optician about a Chemistrie Clip.  They are magnetic clip ons that work with all lens types.

Have a great day everyone and see the world as clearly as you can! 🤓

If you liked this article and want to read more, please follow me on Facebook @PaulaTheOptician or subscribe to this blog.  You can find my other writing, not related to eye care and optical on my site:  HaliPawz  Where I enjoy writing reviews, ADA adventures with my mom, as well as just some humorous things that happen to me.

Additional articles to read:



Stuck at home and glasses sliding down? Nerdwax may be a temporary fix

Full disclosure….I did receive the sample Nerdwax free but not from Nerdwax. It was from a distributor who wanted to let me try it to consider selling it in our optical office where I work. The opinions in this post are mine only and were not influenced by me receiving the product free. I honestly did not have high expectations when I started using it.

With so many businesses across the nation changing their protocols and even the world as it is right now, you may find yourself looking for alternative solutions to fix a problem you are having with your eyewear.  Be careful of this because some internet “fixes” will actually damage your glasses / lenses more than help.  I decided to try a product to see if it did, indeed, help with them slipping without doing damage to the lenses.  I have to admit, Nerdwax may be a temporary fix to your glasses slipping down your nose and you’re not able to get in to see your optician to fix it.

Nerdwax uses all natural ingredients. It places a removable gummy/tacky like substance on your frame and helps keep them in place. It does wear off in a day or two, depending on how often you handle them and clean the lenses. The original sample I used to test the product was shaped like a chapstick tube. It made it a little difficult to get into the area easily. Since I have tested it, they have come out with a slimmer, longer, angled tube making it easier to put where you need it

Nerdwax instructions

As the instructions state, you can not use too much but I found it doesn’t take a lot to keep the frames up.

They work on prescription eyewear, over the counter readers, and sunglasses. If you are anything like me and tend to throw your sunglasses up on your head when inside, you will probably see the value in this product because it will help keep them up until you can get back in to see your optician to tighten them up again. I will say the Nerdwax does not get caught in your hair but it does seem to come off quicker. You might want to apply more often

New Nerdwax shape. Photo courtesy of Nerdwax.com

Overall, if your glasses are sliding down a lot, get an appointment to see your optician and get them adjusted but pick up a tube of Nerdwax to help you in between those visits if you need to!

Contact your optician to see if they sell Nerdwax. You can also find it on the Nerdwax website Nerdwax.com or on Amazon Nerdwax

If you have tried Nerdwax share your experience in the comments.

Have a great day everyone and see the world as clearly as you can! 🤓

If you liked this article and want to read more, please follow me on Facebook @PaulaTheOptician or subscribe to this blog.  You can find my other writing, not related to eye care and optical on my site:  HaliPawz  Where I enjoy writing reviews, ADA adventures with my mom, as well as just some humorous things that happen to me


HELP! My glasses are fogging up when I wear a mask

In light of everything that is happening globally right now, many people are choosing to wear a face covering of some kind.   While this is a great option for helping to keep us safe, the biggest problem that comes with it is having to deal with glasses that fog up.

Why do they fog up?

This is a simple answer.  We are full of hot air!  OK, seriously though, it’s simple physics, your warm breath is escaping through the top of the mask, going up into your lenses, which are room temperature (cooler than your breath) and turns the water vapor into water molecules.  These water molecules form on the lenses and causes the cloudiness, hence they fog up.

I want to break down a few things for you regarding this as well as share some tips and tricks to try to minimize it WITHOUT ruining your lenses.

Is your mask fitting properly?

The first thing we want to look at is how is your mask fitting you?  When the mask is fitting you properly, then you should not have lenses that fog up because very little air is going to be up and out of the top of the mask hitting your lenses.  Surgical masks have a piece built into them to help form them along the nose and the face.  It is important to start with the nose, and then flatten along the face so it is smooth on your cheeks.  Remember, if the air is escaping through the top and fogging up your glasses, it is easier for air particles to get down through the top and into your respiratory system!

If you are wearing a homemade (sewn) mask, make sure it is one that has a pipe cleaner or some other forming agent to allow you to tighten it against your nose and face.  Always wash your hands before putting your mask on.  Place it on using the straps, then form it along the nose and upper cheek area.  Once you have done that, do not touch your mask again!  This is very important, not for the fogging lenses, but for your safety.

If you have a sewn mask and it does not have something built into it to form to your nose, you can also apply some surgical tape to the top of it.  This will keep your mask tight against your nose and cheeks and minimize the amount of air escaping up through the top of the mask.

Another thing to check is the elastic or ties you are using to keep it on.  Some go over your ears, some around the back of your head.  Either way your mask is held on, it has to be tight enough to keep your mask snug against your face.  The mask shouldn’t hurt, but yes, it probably will be a little uncomfortable until you get used to it.  It will probably leave a slight line along the top of your cheeks and nose….as long as it’s not digging into your skin, the faint line is to be expected.

What else can I do?

OK, so your mask is fitting properly but you’re still getting a little big of fogging up.  It’s better, but still bothersome.  There are a few other things you can do.

Fogged up frame without nosepads
The top mask is sitting lower, causing the lenses to fog up. The bottom mask is placed higher on the bridge with the frame over top of the mask

Wear your mask higher up on your nose and place your glasses OVER the mask, resulting it them sticking out a little more, allowing more air to circulate around them.  Be careful with this option and how far you lift them out if you have a higher prescription as it may alter your prescription / vision slightly.  This is, in my opinion, the BEST option AFTER making sure the mask is fitting properly.  As you can see from the pictures, it works with frames with nose-pads and without.

Frame with nose pads fogged up
Here is a frame with nose pads.  The top mask is placed lower and the lenses are fogging up, the bottom picture shows the mask higher on the bridge with the nose pads placed on the mask.

Another option is to fold a tissue and place it under your mask along the nose.  Remember to wash your hands before folding the tissue or when getting ready to remove it.  The tissue helps fill in any gaps.  Make sure it is folded over quite a few times though to give yourself extra protection and throw away often to prevent it from collecting any germs.  Close your eyes and pull up and away keeping the shape in tact and dispose of immediately.

Can I buy anything to help? 

You can purchase some anti fog cleaner / wipes.  Now there are a lot of options out there so you must make sure you are only buying a product that is safe for ALL LENS TYPES.  Some of the anti fog products available are not designed for lenses with special types of coatings.  It may strip your scratch resistant coatings and / or anti reflective coatings resulting in permanently damaged lenses.  You think your glasses appear “foggy” with a mask, try having them feel like that the whole time you’re wearing them.  It might happen if you use a product not designed for your lenses.  Some of the disadvantages of an anti-fog cleaner is a lot of them have a slight smell.  If you are sensitive to smells, it could bother you.  They don’t work that well and you may have to apply often.  This can get a little annoying.

The other thing to remember is any product you are putting on your lenses results in some type of chemical being close to your eye, which can cause some discomfort or irritation to the eyes.

Long term solution is there are coatings you can order for your lenses which come with special cleaning cloths and reduce fogging.   This option is especially good for those who work in an industry where their lenses fog up a lot.  For example, someone who cooks in a kitchen or someone who goes in and out of a freezer a lot.  It is a little more expensive and you have to use the cleaning supplies provided to you for them, but it is great for those who truly need that feature.  The one I usually recommend to my patients if they have a need for this is the Crizal OptiFog Anti Reflective coating.

Are there any home remedies or products I already have at home to help?

There is one option which I personally don’t think works very well, but some people swear by it so I will include it……because there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.  Apply a fine barrier of bar soap.  Make sure to not use any soap with anti-bacterial properties; it may damage some of your coatings.  Use a mild soap, like Ivory.  Let the soap dry slightly on the lenses and then gently wipe the excess soap away.  I feel like it still fogs up slightly and again, I’m a scent person.  I can smell the soap when I put them back on and I don’t want to smell the soap.

There is some communication saying to use shaving cream to eliminate fogging, PLEASE DO NOT do this.  It is not safe for most lenses and can result in damaging your lenses.

Overall, the best solution is a proper fitting and properly adjusted mask, regardless of the style.  Wearing it high on your bridge and putting your glasses on over the mask will work the best.

Have a great day everyone and see the world as clearly as you can! 🤓

If you liked this article and want to read more, please follow me on Facebook @PaulaTheOptician or subscribe to this blog.  You can find my other writing, not related to eye care and optical on my site:  HaliPawz  Where I enjoy writing reviews, ADA adventures with my mom, as well as just some humorous things that happen to me.

I want to give special recognition to K9 Closet in Kansas City.  They made my optical themed face mask and I love it!  They normally do dog collars and my Neapolitan Mastiff, Bella, has the same fabric in her collar!


Product Update:  For those of you who  remember the green frames I’m wearing from my blog about purchasing eye-wear online, I used them for some of the testing I did so I wouldn’t ruin the lenses in my quality eye-wear.  I hardly ever wear them for the reasons I indicated in the blog.  They are kept in a case when I am not wearing them and they still have a lot of tiny scratches on them.



Flu Got you down? Remember your eyes – PaulatheOptician

The flu is not fun.  I recently had it and it had me down and out for about five days.  Even still, as I am back to work, the cough is still driving me crazy.  All too often, when we get sick, especially those draining illnesses that zap your energy and leave you dehydrated, results in your vision also being compromised.

I want to share with you some ways to combat this.  First….let’s talk about what happened to me.  My fever was around 102.3 for over a day.  I didn’t even want to move!  I stayed home sick on a Friday.  Not being smart, I didn’t eat anything all day but worse, I didn’t drink anything all day Friday.  By Saturday morning, I couldn’t even see my television across the room.  I knew why….but it didn’t make it easier to accept.  I knew I was dehydrated and it was all my fault.

Luckily, working in this industry, I had some quick fixes, although not quick enough for me.  The first thing I did was drink some water.  I actually drank 2 of my 32 oz tumblers full of water.  Then I went and grabbed some Refresh artificial tears from my medicine cabinet.  I doused my eyes with it.  I waited a few minutes and put some more in.  I then took another tube downstairs with me to put in my eyes after an hour.  You want to stay away from drops like Visine or Murine, but any of the artificial tears work great.  They help hydrate your eyes.  While nothing is as good as making sure your body is getting the fluids it needs, artificial tears is a solid alternative.

After about 3- 4 hours, my vision was back to normal and I was able to watch tv in between all of my napping!

***As a side note, artificial tears works well if your eyes tend to dry out when you watch a movie and eat popcorn.  I know when I leave a movie theater, my eyes are so dry and I get halos around lights.  Drop a couple of drops of artificial tears in your eyes and it should relieve some of the dryness.


Have a great day everyone and see the world as clearly as you can! 🤓

If you liked this article and want to read more, please follow me on Facebook @PaulaTheOptician or subscribe to this blog.  You can find my other writing, not related to eye care and optical on my site:  HaliPawz  Where I enjoy writing reviews, ADA adventures with my mom, as well as just some humorous things that happen to me.