Photochromic lenses are eyeglass lenses that are clear (or nearly clear) indoors and darken automatically when exposed to sunlight. Other terms sometimes used for photochromic lenses include “light-adaptive lenses” and “variable tint lenses.”
Photochromic Lenses Review
The most popular brand of photochromic lenses offered in the United States are Transitions Lenses (Transitions Optical). Due to the fact that of this, some people — including some eye care specialists — describe photochromic lenses as “transition lenses” or “shift lenses.” However there are other brand names of photochromic lenses offered also.
The molecules accountable for triggering photochromic lenses to darken are activated by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Because UV rays permeate clouds, photochromic lenses will darken on overcast days along with bright days.
Photochromic lenses usually will not darken inside a vehicle because the windscreen glass obstructs most UV rays. Recent improvements in innovation enable some photochromic lenses to activate with both UV and noticeable light, offering some darkening behind the windscreen. Ask your optician for details.
Photochromic lenses are readily available in nearly all lens products and designs, including high-index lenses, bifocals and progressive lenses. An added benefit of photochromic lenses is that they protect your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Since a person’s life time exposure to sunlight and UV radiation has been related to cataracts later in life, it’s a great idea to think about photochromic lenses for children’s eyeglasses in addition to for glasses for grownups. Polycarbonate is the safest lens material for kids, supplying as much as 10 times the impact resistance of other lens materials.
Though photochromic lenses cost more than clear eyeglass lenses, they offer the convenience of minimizing the have to bring a set of prescription sunglasses with you everywhere you go.
See also: Eyes Sensitive to Light – Photophobia
Photochromic Lens Brands
Popular brand names of photochromic lenses offered in the United States include:
Transitions Signature (Transitions Optical) — Transitions Signature lenses with Chromea7 innovation represent the current development in Transitions adaptive lenses. They are available in gray, brown and graphite green. The lenses are totally clear indoors and are more responsive to sunlight, so they are darker when you require them to be, according to the company. Shifts Signature lenses are the fastest to fade back to clear indoors of all the Transitions items.
Transitions XTRActive (Transitions Optical) — These lenses were developed for users who are light-sensitive inside your home and want a darker lens when owning and outdoors. Shifts XTRActive lenses have minor tint inside to keep your eyes comfy when exposed to extreme lighting (fluorescents lights, digital devices). They likewise activate behind the windscreen of a car and are readily available in gray, brown and graphite green tints.
Transitions Vantage (Transitions Optical) — These lenses have a slight tint inside and polarize as they darken outdoors for higher glare control in bright, reflective conditions. This distinct technology provides a high-definition visual experience considering that the polarization constantly changes outdoors to match the level of reflective glare, according to Transitions Optical. Offered in gray tint.
Sensity (Hoya Vision Care) — Introduced in the United States in April 2016, Hoya’s Sensity photochromic lenses include trademarked innovation that insures the lenses perform regularly in differing climates and temperature levels, inning accordance with the company. Sensity lenses are available in gray and contrast-enhancing brown colors and are used in a variety of lens styles, lens materials and anti-reflective finishes.
LifeRx (Vision-Ease Lens) — LifeRx lenses are made of polycarbonate and are readily available in gray and brown photochromic tints in a range of lens styles. The lenses take less than a minute to darken outdoors and fade back faster inside your home than other photochromic lenses, according to the company.
PhotoFusion (Carl Zeiss Vision) — Made in Germany, PhotoFusion lenses are available in a neutral gray tint for accurate color vision in all lighting conditions, according to the company. The lenses darken as much as 20 percent much faster and lighten inside as much as twice as quick as previous Zeiss photochromic lenses.
ColorMatic (Rodenstock) — Also made in Germany, Rodenstock’s ColorMatic lenses are available in gray, brown and green photochromic tints. The company likewise provides ColorMatic IQ Contrast photochromic lenses in contrast-enhancing shades of orange and green.
PhotoViews (Signet Armorlite) — PhotoViews lenses are made from lightweight plastic and polycarbonate and are offered in gray and brown photochromic tints in a variety of lens styles, consisting of Kodak progressive lenses.
SunSensors (Corning) — Corning’s SunSensors are made from mid- and high-index plastic materials and are readily available in gray and brown tints in a variety of lens styles.
PhotoGray; PhotoBrown (Corning) — These glass photochromic lenses offer superior scratch resistance however are substantially heavier and less impact resistant than other photochromic lenses. Corning created the first mass-produced glass photochromic lenses in the 1960s and continues to produce glass photochromic lenses in gray and brown tints.
Thin & Dark (Corning) — Corning’s Thin & Dark lenses include a gray tint and are up to 30 percent thinner and lighter than traditional glass photochromic lenses, according to the company.
Also read: Best Eyeglass Lenses
Photochromic sunglasses are primarily for outdoor wear. They are not as clear inside your home as other photochromic lenses, but they offer additional convenience in bright sunshine and behind the wheel.
Transitions Drivewear (Transitions Optical and Younger Optics) — These polarized adaptive lenses are developed particularly for the owning task. They adapt to altering light conditions when worn inside a vehicle, boost contrast, and improve visual performance for owning, according to Transitions Optical.
Transitions Optical likewise has incorporated the company’s photochromic innovation into a line of adaptive sunglasses, motorcycle and bike helmet guards and snow goggles. These products boost visual efficiency during outside activities by offering convenience in changing light conditions, enhancing contrast and using the convenience of not having to switch items as light modifications, inning accordance with the company.
Transitions Optical’s photochromic technology is readily available in products from leading brand names like Bell Helmets, Shoei, Oakley, Nike and Dragon Alliance in a range of tint and color alternatives, consisting of clear to dark lenses, dark to darker lenses, and clear to dark helmet shields. Likewise, the photochromic efficiency of items made for snowboarding and other winter activities is enhanced for cold temperatures, inning accordance with the company.
See also: Polarized Sunglasses
Medical Applications Of Photochromic Lenses
In addition to adjusting automatically to different lighting conditions, some photochromic lenses likewise have medical applications.
Corning’s CPF household of glass photochromic lenses has actually specially picked red colors. These lenses in some cases are used to improve the vision of patients who have numerous eye pathologies, consisting of macular degeneration. Doctors who focus on low vision are familiar with these lenses and can identify if they will be effective for particular vision issues.
Non-Photochromic Tinted Lenses
Alternatives to photochromic lenses for improving visual convenience are lenses with tints that stay continuous at all times.
Tints of practically any color can be used to glasses lenses. Lighter, style tints are used mostly for cosmetic purposes to boost a wearer’s looks. Darker tints permit the user to use the lenses as sunglasses.
Color can be added to a lens as a solid tint, where the entire lens has the exact same color density, or as a gradient tint, where the color density is darkest at the top of the lens and gradually fades to clear or nearly clear at the bottom.
Different colors can be used to lenses for various functions:
Yellow typically is added to a lens to improve contrast, especially in overcast conditions, making it a popular tint for hunters who want “shooting glasses.”
Green, or its cousin G-15 (the classic color of lenses in Ray-Ban sunglasses), is sometimes used as a sunglass tint, though brown and gray are the most popular sun shades.
Red is a vibrant fashion color as well as is popular among individuals who enjoy seeing the world through “rose-colored glasses.”