Seeing The World Through Rose-Colored Glasses: How Some Eyeglass Tints Can Help Your Health

Posted on: 18 September 2015


Maybe it's almost time for you to get a new pair of prescription eyeglasses. You've got choices to make about the type of frames and the features of the lenses you want. But you also can determine whether you want a tint on your lenses, and if so, what that should look like.

Why have a tint at all? Different tints can help your eyes process information differently. The most common use of a lens tint is to help you reduce light and glare, such as with a brown or gray tint. Here are some ways that different eyeglass tints can help your eyes:

Blocking Blue Light

If you have problems sleeping, you can always try amber-tinted glasses. The amber blocks the blue light from electronics, which is linked to problems with sleep and reduced energy. 

Blue light is shown to have ill effects on health because it reduces your natural production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep and manage your sleep-wake cycles. A Harvard study comparing exposure to blue light vs. green light found that the blue reduced melatonin production for twice as long -- 3 hours instead of 1.5 -- as the green light did.

Most screens, including televisions, tablets and smartphones, use blue light to increase your ability to see them. But spending time looking at these screens at night could be impacting your sleep. Amber tints can reduce the impact of the blue wavelength and keep your melatonin production stabilized.

Reducing Visual Stress

Some people are more sensitive to visual stimuli, and these people tend to have more difficult with bright lights. Some of these sensitive people will get migraine headaches or even seizures due to bright or varied light. 

One small study done on children who suffered migraines found that rose-colored lenses could help reduce the number and intensity of the headaches. After four months of wearing the glasses, their average number of headaches went from 6.2 a month to 1.6.

Blue tints, which have also been studied, show no similar signs of helping reduce migraines after a short initial adjustment period.

Gradual Sunlight Reduction

You can have a gradual tint applied if you don't want the entire lens to be colored. This is usually done with the darkest color on the top, then it gradually fades to clear at the bottom. The biggest benefit to this feature is if you want to use your regular glasses to block some of the sun's rays; gradual tints can do a nice job of protecting your eyes without transitioning entirely like photochromic lenses do.

Talk to your optometrist, optical technician, or specialty eye wear company such as Spectacle Shoppe, Inc. about your different options for eyeglass lens tints. You may find that a colored hue to your lens may help you feel, sleep or see better.