Tinted Lenses

Tinted sunglasses have come in and out of style thru out the years. They began as the only real way of turning clear plastic(cr-39) lenses into dark sunglasses. When the world found out about the unhealthy effect of UV radiation on our retinas and that tinted plastic lenses just opened up your iris to let in more unfiltered UV light, we had a second look at tinted lenses. UV 400 tints became available that blocked UV light up to 400 nm but left a slight yellow tint on the plastic lenses.

Lens tints serve a variety of important purposes. As just pointed out, a good tinted lens protects your eyes against UV radiation. They can also give you a high-contrast vision experience even in glaring or diffuse light. Sunlight has the unpleasant characteristic of not showing contrasts adequately. Daylight has a high percentage of blue scattered light that overpowers the other colors, which leads to low-contrast vision. Tinted lenses can filter the blue light radiation down to the optimum level. Objects appear with high contrast, and colors and details appear natural.

Subtle Tints for Prescription Glasses

Besides fashionable colored tints, your lenses can be treated with anti-glare or anti-scratch treatments. Slight blue tints on your prescription lenses can reduce glare from monitors and screens, making them ideal for office workers and people who use screens a lot.

Specialist driver tints are also available. Ideal for daytime driving, a driving tint will give you sharper vision behind the wheel. Its special tint enhances contrast and blocks UV light to give you a clearer view of the road.

Colored Tints

Bright Tints

Bright tints, like yellows and light browns are very cool. Not only do they look great, but they also provide UV protection and superior clarity. They’re very effective at filtering out blue light from electronic devices meaning they can be helpful for people using computer and phone screens on a regular basis.

Rose tinted sunglasses aren’t just a nostalgic way to see the world. They help to reduce blue light, which improves contrast by offering maximum glare and light protection. The high contrast makes them very soothing to the eyes and allows you to see details better, as well as visual depth. This makes them ideal for lazy summer driving.

Dark Tints

Dark green or grey tinted sunglasses are ideal for when you’re out and about in the summer sun. Dark tints mute brightness, but maintain clarity and strong contrasts. They are dark enough to provide protection from glare, but are still light enough to ensure that your vision is not impaired.


Photochromic Lenses

The photochromic part of a photochromic lenses happens when a lenses is dyed with a photochromic cocktail that darkens when exposed to UV radiation. These tints react to the amount of light they are exposed to, allowing you to combine your prescription sunglasses and your regular glasses. When you’re in darker areas, like indoors, the lens tint clears, but when you move into brighter areas, the lens darkens, offering optimum UV protection.

How Does Tint on Glasses Affect Vision?

Almost every pair of sunglasses have tinted lenses. The color of the tint on the lenses of sports prescription glasses or sunglasses is not simply a matter of style. Tinting blocks visible light, enhances certain colors, and can improve perceptions of contrast and depth. The most important factors for choosing a tint for the lenses of glasses for sports or casual wear involve when and where this eyewear will be worn. Find out more about the effects of lens tints on vision and the benefits of popular tint colors.

Reduce Light

Tinting reduces the amount of light that passes through the lenses of glasses and reaches the eyes. The most common tint colors for this purpose include amber, brown, copper, orange, gray and near-black tinting. Gray tinting is popular because it provides wearers with a slightly darker version of the same range of colors and contrasts they see without tinted lenses.

If you plan to wear a pair of glasses near water, you may prefer gray tinted lenses for deeper water or brown lenses to reduce glare on shallower water. Amber, copper and orange lenses also stand out for their ability to maintain vision quality even in variable light conditions such as fog or haze by creating contrast and drawing attention to tonal details. Polarized lenses are also helpful for reducing the amount of reflected and refracted light that otherwise reduces visibility.

Improve Contrast

The dominance of blue light in the atmosphere makes it difficult to detect contrast quickly and accurately without the right shade of lens tint. Certain lens tint colors enhance contrast and add depth to vision. Green lenses can be helpful when worn outdoors in verdant areas, such as while golfing or hunting. Sports glasses with amber, pink or red lens tint are better choices for wearing while cycling or on snowy slopes. Mirrored sunglasses with or without blue shading limit the intensity of light in very bright conditions such as snow.

Glasses with lenses tinted the wrong color for a particular activity or that are tinted too heavily may reduce visibility by blocking too much visible light or distorting the wearer’s perception of colors. Continuing to wear glasses that have lenses that are too darkly tinted can result in over-sensitivity to light. Most sports sunglasses and sports prescription glasses have tint of some color to shield wearers’ eyes from exposure to sunlight. Consider whether eye protection, vision enhancement or style is the most important quality before ordering a new pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses that have tinted lenses.

Are tinted glasses bad for your eyes?

Tinted lenses that are too dark pose may pose a risk for healthy individuals, when worn regularly indoors. The reason is that the eyes begin to adapt to the darker view, which makes light exposure in the future feel brighter and sometimes painful; by doing this over time, your eyes become more sensitive to light.

You can't judge a pair of sunglasses by its color, at least not for eye protection purposes. Tints and shades of sunglasses do not reflect UV(ultraviolet)  blocking ability.

When sunglasses are made, the lenses are treated with UV-absorbing chemicals to be able to block UV light. If not a greater amount of UV light would penetrate your retina. Because these chemicals are usually colorless, clear lenses could block light just as well as dark-colored lenses. So why so many lens colors?1

Purpose of Tints

Tints filter light in different ways, and some tints do a better job at blocking light than others. Some tints actually enhance colors, while others distort them. Tints have the ability to enhance vision in certain situations. Although you may admire a certain tint color, it may not be the best one for your particular lifestyle.1

Tint Colors

Yellow or Orange

Yellow tints are said to be helpful for moderate to low-level lighting conditions. Surroundings may look brighter. Their contrast-enhancing property makes yellow glasses great for night driving or sports. There may be some color distortion.


Brown lenses are sometimes recommended for people with near-sightedness, or myopia. They may bring comfort to your eyes in sunny conditions or help you better see contrast.


For those with hyperopia (far-sightedness), a gray tint may be beneficial. Gray lenses may also help your eyes deal with fatigue. Gray lenses also make good all-purpose sunglasses.

Blue or Purple

Said to enhance color perception, blue or purple lenses might be worn indoors or outdoors and offer some protection from highly reflective surfaces, like water, glass or snow. Blue lenses are said to be beneficial in foggy weather.


If you’re going out to play golf or tennis in the sunshine, green lenses may help reduce eye strain by filtering the blue and UV rays.

Pink or Rose

Rose-colored or pink tinted glasses can improve visibility for driving, depth perception and detail. Some precision-tinted migraine glasses have a rosy color to them. But not just any rosy coating will do — migraine glasses are specifically designed to filter certain wavelengths of light (including the light from fluorescent fixtures) that have been shown to trigger migraines.


Three Types of Tinted Glasses (and Their Benefits)

Applications & Benefits of Tinted Glasses

Reading the following list may help you navigate the different colors of tinted lenses. If you think a certain type of lens might be useful for you and your lifestyle, talk to your eye care provider for personalized advice.

Light Sensitivity

Tinted eyeglasses for light sensitivity are a big thing. This is a medical condition called photophobia. Light sensitivity tinted lenses are designed to block the narrow wavelengths of light known to be troublesome for people with photophobia, while allowing the rest of the light in.

Computer & Gaming Use

Certain tints applied to eyeglass lenses are said to ease the eye strain that may be caused by harsh blue lighting from digital screens like TV’s, computers, and smartphones. Blue light has been shown to be related to symptoms like eye strain, blurry vision, headaches, dry eye, and sleep disturbances with overexposure. Tinted eyeglasses, often called blue light glasses or blue blockers, are designed to lessen the effects of blue light. This translates into gamers being able to game longer without having to stop and rest their eyes and limiting eye strain for people that work or study on their computers. If blue light bothers you, talk to your doctor for advice.


Many people with dyslexia feel that colored lenses help with reading and processing information. Proponents suggest that certain colors of tinted eyeglasses for dyslexia can correct visual distortions, but most evidence-based research argues that dyslexia is a learning disorder involving phonological decoding and accuracy in fluent word recognition, and not necessarily visual distortion.

Do Tinted Glasses Have Side Effects?

There are no known side effects resulting directly from using tinted eyeglasses. Some people might go through an adjustment period at first, and some might find their color perception seems a little off. Tints that block certain light wavelengths might make some images seem brighter or sharper, but most people who encounter this adjust within days or weeks at the longest.

Should I Try Tinted Lenses?

If you want to use tinted lenses for style, it’s entirely a persona choice. If you’re looking to get certain benefits from them, the best thing to do is speak to your eye care provider. If you have a specific color or use in mind for tinted lenses, bring this up at your next appointment. Discuss any challenges you’re having with your vision, and whether a specific tint might be beneficial


Source: Katz BJ, Digre KB. Diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of photophobia. Surv Ophthalmol. 2016;61:466–7.

Source: Main A, Dowson A, Gross M. Photophobia and phonophobia in migraineurs between attacks. Headache. 1997;37(8):492–495. doi:10.1046/j.1526-4610.1997.3708492.x

Source: Sumeer S, Downie LE, Anderson AJ. Do blue-blocking lenses reduce eye strain from extended screen time? A double-masked, randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 

Source: Hwang AD, Merve TB, Peli E. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(10):1147-1153. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.2893

Source: https://www.axonoptics.com, 6-types-of-tinted—glasses-and-their-benefits



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