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Optom Vis Sci. 2002 Sep;79(9):590-7.

Enhancement of contrast sensitivity and losses of chromatic discrimination with tinted lenses.

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Dpto. Interuniversitario de Optica, Escuela de Optica, Universidad de Alicante, Spain.



Tinted lenses for everyday use should not impair visual acuity and contrast sensitivity or cause radical changes in color perception. The main aim of this study was to compare the performance in contrast detection and color discrimination tasks of a set of tinted lenses with that of gray filters of equal luminance under D65.


The contrast sensitivity functions of 10 observers were measured using sinusoidal gratings of mean luminance of 13 cd/m2 by the adjustment method. Color discrimination thresholds from white (x = 0.313, y = 0.330), green (x = 0.346, y = 0.407), and blue (x = 0.280, y = 0.253) were measured along 12 directions in the CIE-1931 xy diagram with and without lenses.


Green, brown, and blue filters did not cause significant changes in contrast sensitivity compared with a gray filter of equal luminance, although chromatic discrimination was disturbed. Yellow and orange filters improved achromatic contrast at certain spatial frequencies, but impaired chromatic discrimination.


Compared with gray filters of the same luminance, yellow filters may be useful when enhancement of low achromatic contrasts is desirable, although overall brightness decrements may occur. Nevertheless, these lenses cause tritan-like defects with discrimination losses increasing with the cutoff wavelength.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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