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Some people may choose lens colors for their sunglasses based on aesthetic reasons but different color lenses actually serve different purposes. The tint of your glasses can help with your depth perception and reduce eye fatigue in certain environments. Sunny conditions work best with green, brown, gray, or black lenses.
Different Eyewear Lens Options
Green: Green is good for general purpose use and can even offer some help with color perception. Green will dim glares and help to brighten shadows. It provides good contrast for conditions that have low lighting. Green can be used on partly cloudy days because of the increased contrast for better depth perception. Green tint is also good on bright days because it helps to reduce glare and filter out other light.
Amber/Brown: This color lens is good for everyday variable conditions. It will help with enhancing contrast and contains a red element in order to help improve your depth perception.
Yellow: Yellow can help provide better clarity in haze, fog and other low-light conditions. It will also filter out blue light from computer screens and electronic devices that can cause headaches and eye fatigue.
Purple/Blue: These lenses are aesthetically pleasing and also help reduce glare. These are good for color perception to help define contours. If blue lenses are paired with bronze or copper, they can cut the glare and be used for brighter days.
Black/Grey: This is another lens that is good for general purpose use. It will help reduce eye fatigue and provides true color perception. This lens can minimize glare, especially off of water. Black is the darkest tint available and helps with light reduction.
Red/Pink: This color lens will help reduce eyestrain. These lenses provide good road visibility with the greatest amount of contrast.
If you like being on the water or in the snow and want to reduce the glare on the bright sunny days, there are polarized lenses. The goal of polarized lenses it to remove the glare so you can see more clearly. This means these lenses are favored by water sports enthusiasts and those who dislike the day-to-day glare on bright days. Polarized lenses work by filtering out the horizontal patterns of light that are reflected off certain surfaces, such as cars or lakes. Glare reduction can be great but there are some instances where it's not good to have polarized lenses. Not being able to see icy snow if you are skiing or snowboarding or see the wet pavement on the road can lead to injury.
Shopping Tips for Colored Lenses
If you are getting glasses for bright days but still need them for cloudy days, you may want to consider getting two pairs. Some glasses have interchangeable lenses that you can use to customize the tint for different conditions and activities. You may be able to find photochromic lenses. These are light-sensitive lenses that will darken automatically in response to the sunlight. These can be available in a variety of tint colors, including brown, green, and gray. No matter what type of lenses you want, consider an anti-reflective coating that is applied to the back. This can eliminate glare from light that reflects off the back surface of the lenses when you are away from the sun. Before you purchase lenses, schedule an eye exam with a doctor near you. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference in how clearly you can see.
The darkness of your lenses has nothing to do with how much UV protection you get. Dark sunglasses without UV protection can actually be more dangerous for you since the darker color causes your pupils to dilate. Dilated pupils means that you are exposing your eyes to more UV rays. No matter what color lens you get, when choosing sunglasses always make sure that the lenses will also have 100% UV protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Contact lenses can have UV protection but the UV protection doesn’t cover the whole eye so it’s best to have UV blocking sunglasses even if you are wearing contacts with UV protection.