Lately, I have had a number of patients asking me about yellow driving glasses. It is true that yellow tinted lenses increase contrast, but any kind of tinted lenses decrease the amount the light entering your eyes. This is dangerous when used at night, because limiting the amount of light is the same as limiting amount of visual information entering your eyes and hence impairing your night vision.
According to research, “Yellow ‘Night Driving’ lenses have been shown to provide no benefit in seeing ability at night. They are even hazardous, because they give the driver a feeling of seeing better, which no one has yet been able to explain. Studies have shown that they actually impair visual performance and retard glare recovery. Many promoters have made unfounded claims for the ability of amber to improve night vision. They have employed mass solicitation, usually by mail. The Federal Trade Commission has correctly ruled that such practices are illegal since the lenses do not perform as claimed.” This is from the book, “Forensic Aspects of Vision and Highway Safety” by Merrill J. Allen, O.D., Ph.D.
For exceptional night vision, beside having clean, fog free windshield and properly aligned headlights, I have a few recommendations:
- Wear your driving glasses with the most updated prescription from your eye doctor.
- Make sure that there is a good quality anti-glare or anti-reflective coating on your lenses.
- Make sure that your lenses are clean. There are coatings that can be applied to your lenses that repels dust, oil and water, making them extremely easy for cleaning.
- Consider applying a blue blocker to your driving lenses. Blue blocker increases contrast without significantly limiting the amount of light entering your eyes. Not only are blue blocker useful when looking at electronic devices, it is also helpful to make bluish-white LED headlights softer to your eyes.