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Photochromic Glasses & You


Premier Eyes is a proud member of Vision Source – a nationwide network of independent optometrists. The below article was originally printed by Vision Source in June 2015.

Are photochromic glasses right for you?

For people who wear glasses, the transition from a sunny outdoors to a darker indoors can be hard on the eyes and cumbersome. Many people wind up with two pairs of eyeglasses — a pair of prescription lenses for indoors, as well as a pair of prescription sunglasses for outdoors — which they swap out depending on the environment.

If you have two pairs of glasses for this exact reason and are tired of the constant swapping, photochromic lenses may be a better option for you.

What Are Photochromic Lenses?

Photochromic lenses are eyeglass lenses that darken automatically when exposed to sunlight and fade back to clear when you return indoors. In most cases, photochromic lenses are clear (or nearly clear) indoors and darken to a medium tint outdoors.

A company called Transitions Optical produces a large portion of photochromic lenses in the United States. For this reason, many people call all photochromic lenses “transition lenses” as one of the most popular and reputable brands available on the market is in fact called “Transitions”. However, there are many brands of photochromic lenses offered by different lens manufacturers. Other generic terms sometimes used for photochromic lenses include “light-adaptive lenses” and “variable tint lenses.”

The Benefits of Photochromic Lenses

There are many benefits to photochromic lenses. Here are a few of our favorites —

  • Convenience. Photochromic lenses are more convenient. You no longer need to switch from one pair of eyeglasses to the next every time you go outside or come back in. The lenses tint automatically as soon as you enter the sunlight.
  • Affordability. They are more affordable than having to purchase two pairs of eyeglasses and there is no need to make sure you have both pairs of glasses with you at all times.
  • Protection. Your eyes receive continuous protection from harmful UVA and UVB light with photochromic lenses, reducing the risk of cataracts and other age-related vision issues.
  • Comfort and Versatility. Photochromic lenses are available in lightweight lens materials, work with all forms of lenses (including bifocal and progressive) and images and colors appear more vivid and crisp in sunlight.

Our doctors and staff at Premier Eyes are happy to meet with you and discuss your lens options. Please stop in our optical or call 414-873-5135.