Over time, you will see that your eyeglasses will change. This could be because they aren’t being cleaned properly or just because of normal wear and tear. One common change is the tint of lenses turning yellow, but what causes it, and how can you fix it?

Your glasses may be yellowing due to repeated exposure to sunlight or exposure. Once the yellowing has started, it’s very difficult to stop or correct.

The easiest solution here may be to invest in a new set of glasses.

The Truth Behind Yellowing Eyeglasses

Yellowing of the eyeglasses is normal. This will happen over time and cannot be prevented. But here are the main reasons why your lenses are becoming yellow:

  • Exposure to sunlight.
  • A form of oxidation.
  • The lenses may have tinted themselves.

You will find that some lenses have a yellow tint to them depending on what type of plastic they are and what their purpose is. Many transitional glasses may have a yellow tint because they change color when in the sunlight. 

Night vision glasses or glasses for hunting are often yellow as well. They help your vision during the night time. It provides a contrast between low-light while also working against blue-light. You won’t have to worry about eye strain with these types of glasses. It also helps with reflective glares of the sun’s rays.

Can The Yellow Come Off? 

You may have seen yellow tint coming off headlights or headlamps, which is similar to removing cloudy or white oxidation from the frames of your glasses, but with yellow lenses, there is not a process to reverse this.

Even if the yellowing is caused by oxidation, you cannot buff the lenses and add a shine to fix it without ruining the prescription of your glasses. When you start seeing this yellowing, you will need to get a new pair of glasses.

How Long Do Glasses Take To Yellow?

Your glasses should not start yellowing until after the first few years. This is if you wear these glasses often and outside. Yellowing occurs from oxidation and the sun’s UV rays, so the more you wear them, the quicker the yellowing.

You can reduce the rate of yellowing by protecting your glasses from UV rays when you aren’t using them and cleaning them regularly. Oxidation often occurs through sunlight and the chemicals on the surface of the lenses. When you remove some of the chemicals, it reduces the rate of oxidation.

If you find out that your glasses are yellowing sooner than that, you may have bought a pair that doesn’t have a strong anti-ultraviolet coat. Each pair of glasses receive this coat as protection, but not all companies will put a strong coat on the lens. Sometimes it is better to spend a little extra money to get glasses that will last longer.

What To Do When Lenses Yellow?

If your lenses yellow pretty rapidly, you may want to contact the company that provided the glasses. Check the warranty to see the length requirement. Sometimes they will replace your glasses with no questions asked.

If it has been more than a year, you may be entitled to a new pair of eyeglasses with your insurance provider. Sometimes they will even give you the first two free, and then you only have to pay for part of the purchase down the road. It could end up saving you a lot of money.

Always check with them before purchasing another pair. You won’t know what you can get until you have contacted them. You are paying monthly for your insurance. Utilize it!

Are Yellow Lenses Harmful?

The yellowing of your lenses is not harmful. Some people buy eyeglasses that are even tinted yellow. Research shows that yellow lenses are great at protecting your vision against the harmful blue light which strains your eyes.

This doesn’t mean that you should continue wearing your yellowing glasses. If your glasses are yellowing due to age, then their effectiveness has degraded. To protect your eyes from extra strain, you should contact your optometrist and see about getting new glasses.


Eyeglasses wear and tear just like any other items you own. Yellowing is just one of those things that happen over time. You can delay the yellowing and protect from the UV rays with proper care. Don’t fret if your lenses are becoming yellow.