September 8, 2013
About 5 or so years ago Nike made (or branded) some lenses called Maxsight that were targeted for athletes. That didn’t last very long but I did get a trial pair and wore them when I played golf. I remember a definite difference in my color perception and recall some improved contrast sensitivity. For some reason the lenses were discontinued by Nike and Bausch & Lomb but I came across another company that makes tinted lenses for outdoor and sport use.
Before you think you can order a pair to try you will need to find an eye care office that has an account with this company, Orion Vision Group, to see if they can help you. I do use this company for toric color contact lenses and just realized they have something that might be similar to Maxsight. Their website does have an office locator function so you can use your zip code to hopefully find a doctor near you. This might require a little prodding to get an office to assist you so you might call Orion first. It’s just not a common request.
What’s the purpose of a sports tinted (contact or sunglasses) lens? Well, if you wear sunglasses you already know. It’s to reduce light. But the colors of the lenses will block/filter certain wavelengths of light sometimes certain wavelength more than others, ie, certain colors will be reduced. In the case of a grey/black/smoke lens all wavelengths are muted more or less but a brown lens will let certain colors seem brighter than others. I prefer a brown lens (in sunglasses) but it may not always be the best choice based on what your field of play looks like (grass, hard surface,dirt, water or combination). The amount of cloudiness can also affect your vision so certain tints might be better for cloudy days or other sky conditions that might affect your sport.
Here’s an opinion piece on this whole concept of improving sports performance through some gimmicky stuff. Stay away from ion watches (ion anything) and copper this or that. Also, anything that is magnetic. But I will allow you to carry a good luck charm or you can wear your underwear backwards. Check your associations website or regulations for things that might be allowed or not. I doubt they care about your underwear but you’re not supposed to have an equipment advantage. Where sports tinted contact lenses fall as far as enhancing your efforts, I doubt they would be a problem and I do think for some they can help them visually. As an aside and slightly unrelated to tinted color contact lenses, a former professional football player (LaDainian Tomlinson) received approval from the NFL to wear a tinted shield in his helmet because stadium lights caused him to have migraines. Tints do have their benefits.
This is from Orion Vision Groups website:
- Amber: Blocks high amounts of blue light to heighten contrast and visual acuity. Particularly useful to improve contrast on grass and against blue skies.
- Sports: baseball, softball, football, cycling, fishing (especially in waters with grassy bottoms), golf, hunting, skiing, water sports.
- Gray Green: Heightens contrast (mildly) while preserving color balance and reduces brightness.
- Sport: golf
- Bolle Blue: blocks blue light to heighten contrast and visual acuity.
- Sports: Football, Tennis
- Green: Heightens contrast (mildly) while preserving color balance.
- Application: Use in bright outdoor light
- Yellow: Heightens contrast in overcast, hazy, low-light conditions outdoors or for indoor sports. Filters blue light for sharper focus
- Sports: Hunting, Football (night games)
- Sun Tac: Reduces overall brightness while preserving 100 percent normal color recognition.
- Applications: Great for outdoor sports, especially running.