Polarized sunglasses cause vertigo?

I’ve read recently that the “venetian blind” effect of polarized lenses can contribute to sea-sickness.

That is, the loss of acuity due to the vertical solid lines in polarized lenses can muddle the inner ear.

Does anyone have solid info on this?


– Last Updated: Nov-04-07 7:09 PM EST –

I've worn them almost everyday for 45 years..
Maybe that explains things..

OK after reading the other thread, water spots do drive me crazy and I take the P. glasses off.

There was some discussion of this …
in this archived post.


never bothered me
seems to me if a person is predisposed to sea-sickness then any number of things that take one a tiny bit outside their comfort zone could be thought of as a contributor.

The only problem I’ve had with polarized glasses was when I tried to wear them flying. The apparent change in sky color/darkness when banking & turning was very distracting.

I can imagine a similar problem if you move/tilt your head a lot when paddling, but i’ve never noticed it.

I like brown lenses over grey
but I don’t think that has anything to do with motion sickness - although it might.

Brown lenses are said to give more acuity than gray lenses. Maybe switching to brown will increase acuity, therefor making up for any acuity loss due to polarization.

Nope. Have Mine On All The Time…
I get dizzy only from maytagging in cold water.


Ditto on not wearing them flying.I have a friend who is a pilot and he showed mw an advisery about it.I belive it had to do with looking through the curved plexiglass windshield and distortion of the combonation.That being said I ALWAYS wear polorized glasses when paddleing.They are particularly valuable in shallow water with underwater obsticals.Fellow paddlers run into things they can’t see that I can see clearly.


Snow, not water
I know this is anecdotal rather than “solid info.”

I’ve never gotten dizzy wearing polarized sunglasses on the water. But snow can look so weird in them as to be disorienting. The snow gets an iridiscent rainbow fragmentation kind of an effect. Yuck. It only lasts a moment, till I move my head (and the lenses are at a different angle to the snow, I guess).

Must be the fact that snow has visible crystals, unlike liquid water.

polarized glasses
i suppose you could get vertigo, IF your scared of heights and your looking into clear water /deep clear water,other wise, i always wear them fishing shooting, camping, i like the hightened colour transition,i dont get as many head aches,linear or circular ?

And all this time I was blaming it on …
paddling around in circles or over imbibing!

I have prescription polarized sunglasses that I wear every day in the Florida sun in the winter, and have never experienced it.



All I can add
is I have problems with an almost 3D effect while road cycling (asphalt pavement looks like it’s swallowing ya up)and cannot look directly down into clear water while paddling (case in point being the upper niragra with the grass just below the surface)I loose my equilibriam. Now, for creek running, they’re fanastic.

There could be something to this!
The last time I went flying with a pilot friend I was wearing my polarized Ray Bans and all was well. Until I banked that Cessna 152 over and did a couple of circles around my house. When I leveled out and steered towards a radio tower about 10 miles away, I lost my cookies. Sick as a dog so to speak. Never been sick flying otherwise. vertigo, it’s a bad thing. BTW I’m not a pilot, just love driving a plane when I get the chance.