Dr. Dean

Do You Recommend Those Yellow-Tinted Glasses For Night Driving?

Posting Date: 01/31/2000

Dave: What do you think about those yellow-tinted night driving glasses? The ad says they're scientifically designed and that they cut down on headlight glare and the glare caused by wet weather.

Dr. Dean: We can pick out daffodils on a hill on a late summer night because as the intensity of light fades, yellow is the last color to go.

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So, I imagine the idea is that wearing the yellow goggles will make the most of the light exposure we receive. But adding color to light decreases its intensity and at night, we want as much light as possible to reach our eyes.

I have not seen any reports presenting evidence on these glasses, and I don't think that color can make enough of a difference. Perhaps they are based on a type of Polarization. Polarized lenses do cut glare and reflected light; they really work.

Glare can actually come from within our own eyes, and is one of the symptoms of glaucoma. As we age, the nucleus of the lens can harden and cause problems. Also, we are a little more nearsighted at night, which causes blurred vision, so a doctor's prescription to correct that would improve night vision.

If you are seeing a lot of glare, I suggest you get an exam and make sure that your eyes are healthy before you buy a pair of these glasses.

Send me the ad you have and I'll be glad to look into it, but without good clinical data, I won't make recommendations on night-driving behavior.