Do night driving glasses help you see clearly while driving at night?
13 July 2021
The truth behind night vision glasses for driving
If you’ve ever driven a car at night you know how difficult it can be to see the road clearly sometimes. The lack of light makes it harder to see the road ahead, which is why many drivers and other road users are now looking for solutions, one of them being night-time glasses. The big question that remains, however, is do they actually work?
What are night driving glasses?
Night driving glasses are usually non-prescription eyeglasses that feature yellow-tinted lenses. They also tend to include an anti-reflective coating that gets rid of any reflections that may potentially dazzle drivers, such as streetlights or any oncoming headlights from other vehicles that may cause glare. In fact, most glasses made with anti-reflective coating today can eradicate the reflection of light so well that they allow 99.5% of available light to pass through the lenses and enter the eye for good vision.
Night driving glasses also tend to be similar to what is known as ‘shooters glasses’, or in other words the specific protective glasses that hunters wear while going shooting. The main reason why yellow-tinted glasses are so popular amongst hunters is that they can increase the contrast of objects while looking at the sky.
Nevertheless, while this is true, can night driving glasses really improve your night-time vision on the road?
What is high-energy visible (HEV) blue light?
Blue light is a portion of what we know as the visible light spectrum, and this spectrum is also part of the much wider electromagnetic spectrum. The visible light spectrum is a combination of all the colours together which creates the light visible to the naked eye.
As glasses with yellow-tinted lenses (such as night driving glasses) can increase the contract of objects in daylight, this means that the yellow tint blocks some of the blue light that is emitted from the sun. Blue light can also produce glare which can obscure your vision. As yellow-tinted lenses can block blue light, this also decreases all visible light to the eyes while the glasses are worn.
This isn’t much of a problem during the day, but if you were to wear yellow-tinted night-time glasses this can quickly turn into a dangerous situation – your visibility of the road ahead would be worsened, which is the opposite effect you’re looking for while wearing these glasses!
Night driving glasses VS Blue light glasses
Speaking of blue light, another type of glasses you may have heard of before are called blue light glasses. But what are they exactly?
Blue light glasses have specially crafted lenses that are said to block or filter out the blue light given off from digital screens. These glasses also claim to block glare from your vision (as mentioned above) and protect your eyes from continued exposure to blue light. The reason why blue light glasses have grown so much in popularity these days is because we now live in a digital age and are constantly looking at screens all day. According to research, blue light is known to suppress levels of melatonin, which is the hormone that controls and regulates your sleep cycle. The purpose of blue light glasses is therefore to prevent the suppression of melatonin from happening, so we can get a good night’s sleep and not feel so tired during the day.
In comparison to night driving glasses, the two glasses seem to be quite different even though they both aim to block blue light. Night driving glasses try to block blue light to help you see better at night, whereas blue light glasses aim to help you sleep better and reduce fatigue. In other words, these two glasses have the same function but for different purposes.
What does the research say about night driving glasses?
A recent study that analysed 22 people undertaking different night driving scenarios found that the detection of pedestrians and negative effects of headlight glare is not improved by wearing yellow lens glasses while driving at night. The author of the study, Dr. Alex D. Hwang, equated wearing tinted glasses at night to wearing sunglasses – it does nothing to improve your night vision and can be counterproductive and dangerous instead.
So… it’s been proven that yellow-tinted night-driving glasses may not be as useful as we think they are. Not only would it be a waste of your hard-earned money, but it could also be a hazard to your driving rather than an added benefit.
In that case… What could I do alternatively?
To achieve the best results possible while looking to improve your night vision, the first step you should take is seeing your local optician for a full eye exam. You may have perfect vision or you may not; if it turns out you need prescription glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, then that is the best option for you while trying to stay safe driving at night.
However, if you would rather not be burdened by having to wear your glasses or contact lenses every time you drive, why not consider laser eye surgery?
You can book a FREE Consultation with Ultralase to check your suitability and take the first step towards a life with clear vision – so you can start driving glasses free!
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