Night driving glasses feature non-prescription yellow lenses. These vary in shade from light yellow to amber. Some pairs also have an anti-reflective coating to reduce reflections of light from streetlights and oncoming headlights.
Night vision glasses are anti-glare, filtering out high-energy and visible blue light (HEV). Unlike other types of light with longer wavelengths, blue light is more likely to result in glare when it enters the eye.
Many brands make night driving eyewear in polarized and non-polarized options. However, yellow-tinted glasses marketed for night driving are controversial. Before you purchase a pair of night driving glasses, read on to ensure you’re making an informed decision.
Do Night Driving Glasses Actually Help?
Wearing yellow-lens glasses for night driving doesn't make it easier to see the road at night. So-called night driving glasses may make night vision worse.1
For decades, research has shown that yellow-tinted lenses fail to improve visual acuity while driving at night.1,3,6 They reduce the amount of light that reaches your eyes, which makes it harder to see.
A 2019 study revealed that night driving glasses slow down visual reactions by a fraction of a second, making night vision worse while wearing them.3
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Pros and Cons of Night Driving Glasses
Night driving glasses may lead to impaired night vision, but yellow-tinted or polarized lenses offer benefits in certain daytime conditions. Pros and cons of night vision glasses include:
Pros of Night Driving Glasses
- Better contrast. Eyeglasses with yellow lenses do improve contrast in certain daylight conditions. This is because the yellow tint obstructs some blue light from sunlight.
- Reduce glare. If they are polarized, they will reduce glare from smooth surfaces
- Versatility. Night glasses are available in a wide selection of shades of yellow and amber. This makes them a versatile product.
Cons of Night Driving Glasses
- Reduce vision. Yellow lenses reduce the amount of light reaching the eye. While this is useful during the day, it can be detrimental at night.
- Don’t help night vision. Studies suggest that night glasses don’t improve night vision at all.3
Best Night Driving Glasses
There is a big market for night driving glasses. Some of the best and high-quality brands of anti-glare goggles to choose from include:
- Eagle Eyes
- Soxick night
- Pro Acme
Many anti-glare eyeglasses are available on Amazon.
What is Night Blindness?
Night blindness is otherwise known as nyctalopia. The condition makes it difficult for people to see clearly in low-light conditions like nighttime. However, night blindness doesn’t mean someone can’t see at all during the night, just that it may be challenging.
Trouble seeing at night may occur with other symptoms, such as:
- Blurry vision
- Glare or halos around lights
- Difficulty seeing objects far away
What Causes Poor Night Vision?
Night blindness is often a symptom of another problem with vision. Eye conditions and medical conditions that may cause poor night vision include:
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Uncontrolled diabetes
Schedule an eye exam if you have trouble seeing in dim conditions, especially if you experience other symptoms, like blurry vision.
Alternative Solutions to Night Driving Glasses
If you suffer from night blindness, there are alternative solutions to night vision glasses to reduce poor night vision.
People who wear glasses with prescription lenses can add an anti-reflective (AR) coating. The AR coating reduces glare from headlights and oncoming traffic while allowing 100% of visible light into your eye.
Free-Form (Digital) Lenses
Free-form lenses are customizable and are designed with computer-controlled technology. This allows the lenses to sharpen vision-linked problems that are harder to deal with in typical lenses.
Free-form lenses offer some of the highest levels of clarity during both day and night for better vision.
Wavefront lenses are designed with some of the same technologies used to conduct wavefront-guided customized LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) surgeries.
These specialized lenses are personalized for each patient. They work to improve vision across all lighting spectrums.
Maintain the Vehicle
Another way to improve nighttime driving is to ensure that the vehicle used is properly maintained. A dirty windshield prevents light from reaching your eyes as tinted lenses do.
To optimize your vehicle for night driving:
- Clean the inside and outside of the windshield
- Replace windshield wipers regularly
- Dim dashboard lights
- Keep headlights clean
Night driving glasses have yellow-tinted lenses and claim to reduce glare and eye strain at night. However, science suggests night driving glasses don’t improve night vision. Wearing yellow lenses may make it harder to see in dim conditions.
Poor night vision can indicate an underlying problem that needs treatment. Call your doctor to schedule an eye exam if you have difficulty seeing in dark conditions.
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