3 On Your Side

Consumer trend: Night vision goggles

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Kara Miller was just 30 when she started struggling to see while driving at night. A family member offered some advice.

“My grandmother told me about these glasses and I tried them out, and was very pleasantly surprised,” Miller explained.

Her glasses are among several night vision brands on the market, from Foster Grant to Sharper Image, and lots of smaller brands in between, at every price point, too.

They’re made to dull the glare from oncoming headlights, streetlights and more.

Miller says, “These glasses may not be the most fashionable things, but they are helpful.”

Andrew Iwach, MD, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Glaucoma Specialist in San Francisco, says it’s not all that clear whether night vision glasses are helpful. 

He says these tinted glasses could actually cut down on visibility for some people.

“Fundamentally, the concept is when it's dark outside, the more light that your eye has to process, the better. And any potential solution that reduces the amount of light, whether it's through introducing color or polarization, that can lead to more problems than help,” says Dr. Iwach.

While at least one study shows these glasses can help some suffering from night blindness, Dr. Iwach says there are other options to try first.

“Make sure you get a baseline examination if you haven't been seen by an ophthalmologist by age 40,” he says.

Get a prescription if needed and then take a closer look at your car’s windshield, inside and out.

“Oftentimes people will go into the gas station, clean their windshield on the outside but on the inside, over time you can actually develop a fine film of debris, which can actually induce quite a bit of glare,” he added.

Despite what the doctor says, Miller stands by her special shades, planning to keep them on, especially at night, telling us, “I would definitely suggest getting some of these glasses.”

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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