Night Driving Goggles - Useful or Dangerous?

Eyewear is advertised again and again, which should significantly improve the eyesight in unfavorable visibility conditions, for example at night, with the help of filter lenses. Eyewear with yellow-colored glasses, as they are popular among skiers, are sometimes offered as a vision-improving in low light conditions. The yellow filter gives the impression of being brighter and thus better visible. Scientists at the University Eye Clinic Tübingen checked whether these special glasses actually improved twilight or night vision can be achieved. (Published in ZPA, Journal of Practical Ophthalmology and Ophthalmologic Education, Volume 23: Pages 207-211, May 2002)

The investigation

In order to create the same conditions, the two high-quality, differently colored tinted yellow filter goggles were tested against clear glass goggles. The investigation was made in a darkened room. The doctor's glasses were placed in a sealed container, so that it was no longer possible to determine in which order the glasses were tested. With each pair of glasses, the subject completed an eye test with and without glare on the mesoptometer, a special device for measuring contrast vision at dusk or in darkness. Both normal persons and persons with limited vision were examined.

The conclusion

Neither the twilight vision nor the glare sensitivity can be improved with the tinted special glasses. Sometimes even the visibility worsens. Therefore, the Tübingen experts advise against the purchase of such glasses. "If you have problems, you should go to the ophthalmologist and do an eye test, " remarks Dr. med. Helmut Wilhelm, Senior Physician at the Tübingen Eye Clinic, "he can check whether (new) glasses are necessary, or if there is a disturbance that affects the night vision."

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