The effect of tinted spectacle lenses on contrast sensitivity and colour vision

  • Shaik M
  • Majola P
  • Nkgare L
  • et al.
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Aim: Spectacle wearers often prefer tintedlenses to clear or non-tinted lenses for their protection against harmful radiation, improved cos-mesis, enhancement of visual performance and effects on colour vision. Among the available tinted lenses on the market blue, brown and grey tinted spectacle lenses are popular with varying gradesranging from A to D. Due to reduced transmission of light through such lenses, the optical system of the eyes and the environmental vision may be temporarily altered. Colour vision (CV) and con-trast sensitivity (CS) are important aspects of this altered visual world. This study investigated the effect of spectacle lenses of varying grades of tint on CS and CV.Method: The study adopted a pre- and postest research design and a sample of 90 participants were selected from the University of KwaZulu-Natal student population using convenience sam-ling. Each participant was screened for patholgy, dyschromatopsia, severe dry eyes (TBUT<5 seconds), and the presence of any more than low metropia. Thereafter each successful participant was tested for CS and CV with their habitual precription and then tested randomly with a white clear) lens (placebo) and tinted (blue, brown, and grey) spectacle lenses made of CR39 material each having grades A, B and C over their habitual state. Light transmission was 85%, 75%, and 50% for grades A, B, and C respectively. The Functional Acuity Contrast Test (FACT) chart and American Optical Hardy, Rand, and Rittler (AO HRR) were used for the assessment of CS and CV respectively.Results: The data was analysed using the Statistical Package of Social Science (SPSS) version18. Compared to the habitual state, contrast sensitivity was enhanced with all the tinted lensesThe greater enhancement was for low spatial frequencies (LSF) and least for high spatial frequencies (HSF). With all tints Grade C had the least enhancement for very HSF. Many subjects showed no change in CV with any of the lensesused. The grey tint showed greater enhancement of CV as the density increases. Blue and brown tints showed a similar trend with grade B enhancing CV the most while grade C resulted in theleast reduction of CV.Conclusion: Grade A, B, and C of blue, brown and grey tinted spectacle lenses do not alter colour vision significantly but for the selected levels of transmission of the tints used, contrast sensitivity can be improved to some extent. 




Shaik, M., Majola, P. D., Nkgare, L. M., Nene, N. B., Singh, C., Hansraj, R., & Rampersad, N. (2013). The effect of tinted spectacle lenses on contrast sensitivity and colour vision. African Vision and Eye Health, 72(2).

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