How to Tell If My Oakleys Are Polarized

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Oakley sunglasses are fashionable and, if polarized, can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Oakley sunglasses are fashionable and, if polarized, can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. (Image: sunglasses image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Oakley's top-of-the-line polarization is part of what makes Oakley a leader in the sunglasses industry. Unfortunately, as with any successful name brand, there are dozens of Oakley impersonations on the market, and these knock-offs do not possess the high quality of polarization that has come to be associated with Oakley sunglasses. Polarized Oakley sunglasses re-direct light and reduce glare, enabling you to see more clearly, as well as preventing painful, and sometimes permanent, damage to your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Oakley sunglasses
  • Second pair of polarized sunglasses
  • Cell phone
  • Sunlit glass or water surface

Double Sunglasses Method

Hold your Oakley sunglasses so that the lenses are facing up. The easiest way to do this is to cross the temple pieces and hold the ends of both temple pieces in one hand.

Hold a second pair of sunglasses -- Oakley or otherwise -- that you know for certain are polarized, in the opposite hand. Hold the second pair of sunglasses so that the lenses are facing down.

Align the second pair of sunglasses with your Oakley sunglasses, so that you can see through both sets of lenses, and so that the lenses are about 2-3 inches apart.

Hold the aligned pairs of sunglasses up to a light source, such as a fluorescent store light or a strong point of sunlight. Avoid using the sun itself as a light source, as the brightness of the sun can cause eye damage, even when viewed through polarized sunglasses.

Rotate the second pair of sunglasses. If the view through the combined lenses changes, by becoming either darker or lighter, then your Oakley lenses are polarized. If there is no change, then the lenses are not polarized.

Cell Phone Method

Hold the Oakley sunglasses so that the lenses face down. The easiest way to do this is to cross the temple pieces and hold the spot where they cross in one hand.

Hold your cell phone in the opposite hand, with the display screen of the cell phone facing up.

Rotate the Oakley sunglasses while looking through the lens at the cell phone display screen. If the light of the cell phone display darkens or otherwise changes, then the Oakley sunglasses are polarized. If there is no change in the appearance of the screen, the lenses are not polarized.

Reflective Surface Method

Hold the Oakley sunglasses so that the lenses face down. The easiest way to do this is to cross the temple pieces and hold the spot where they cross in one hand.

Hold the sunglasses about 4-6 inches away from a reflective piece of glass, such as a car windshield, or a reflective surface of water, such as a bucket of water or a pond surface. The glass or water surface should be under direct sunlight and producing a reflective glare.

Rotate the sunglasses slowly while looking through the lenses. If your sunglasses are polarized, the glare on the glass or water will fade and you will be able to see objects behind the glass pane or water surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult the store you bought your Oakley sunglasses at, or another authorized Oakley seller, for details about your particular model of sunglasses.
  • Keep all warranty, manuals and other documentation that comes with your Oakley sunglasses. The documentation will detail the features and specifications of your sunglasses, where to take them for repairs, as well as providing a telephone number for support.
  • Do not look directly into the sun when testing whether or not your Oakley sunglasses are polarized. Use the methods described above to prevent eye damage.
  • Do not leave your Oakley sunglasses under a glass pane that is exposed to direct sunlight. The focused sunlight can melt your frame and lenses and damage the polarizing filter.

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