How do polarized lenses work and what does polarized mean? Polarized sunglasses work by realigning incoming horizontal light. Horizontally reflected light from a surface like a road or a body of water is more intense than more scattered light and results in an uncomfortable glare. The special laminated filter in polarized lenses contains vertical stripes, breaking down glare like a venetian blind. Allowing only vertically oriented light to pass through results in clearer, safer vision and more comfortable eyes. The difference between polarized sunglasses and normal sunglasses is that polarized lenses selectively eliminate the wavelengths of light that cause glare, while normal sunglasses absorb all light wavelengths equally.