Transitions Lenses (Photochromic)

Did You Know?

Transitions lenses not only have the ability to turn dark when outside, but they also provide other benefits such as blocking 100% UVA & UVB rays, as well as filtering blue light both indoors and outdoors. 

Transitions Lenses Q&A

Transitions lenses, also known as photochromic lenses, intelligently change from clear to dark when you go outdoors and back to clear when you return inside. These lenses activate and adapt based on the amount of exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. In the absence of activating UV light, the lenses return to their clear state.

The coating on photochromic lenses is made up of trillions of tiny molecules of silver halide and chloride, which react to the UV radiation in sunlight. Once exposed, the molecules in photochromic lenses change structure and move, working to darken, absorb the light and protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

First, start by thinking about your everyday activities and lifestyle:

  • If you spend a lot of time outdoors, then photochromic lenses are a great option to help relieve eye strain from the glare of the sun. Being outside in natural sunlight are what these lenses were designed for.
  • If you spend a lot of time driving and are bothered by the glare from sunlight, then photochromic lenses would be a great option. You may have been told that photochromic lenses do not darken while inside your car, but there ARE options for you!
  • If you work at a computer all day and suffer from digital eye strain, then photochromic lenses are a great option as they have an added benefit of providing blue light protection to help with eye fatigue and eye strain (please note when inside the lenses will not darken when looking at screens).

Yes, and our expert opticians will recommend the best choice for you based on your everyday activities and lifestyle.

Most Popular Option:

  • Transitions (Generation 8): These lenses are fully clear when inside, and darken when outside. The new Generation 8 darkens faster and clears faster than previous versions. It is a great alternative to protect your eyes from the sun.


Specialty Options:

  • Transitions Xtractive: We recommend these lenses for patients who are extremely light sensitive, even when indoors, and also when the priority is to darken while driving.
  • Transitions Xtractive Polarized: Similar to the above, with the added benefit of polarization, which will give more clarity and detail in bright and sunny conditions.
  • Transitions Drivewear: This is a unique lens options for patients who specifically want the very best option for driving. These lenses are 100% polarized in all conditions, and always have some shade of color. Behind the wheel in low light conditions the lenses are green/yellow to provide high contrast. Behind the wheel in sunny conditions, the lenses are copper to enhance color. When outdoors in bright light these lenses are dark red-brown to filter excess light to provide maximum comfort.

The short answer is no. Transitions lenses provide a huge convenience factor, but we will always recommend our patients to have a separate pair of prescription sunglasses. You get the constant benefit of darkness and clarity no matter the lighting conditions or temperature outside. This is even more apparent when wearing polarized sunglasses, as they block light differently. You may also prefer having a larger sunglass frame or a frame with more wrap to protect your eyes when outside in the sun – most day to day frames will still allow light in from the top, bottom, or sides of the frame. When consulting with our eyewear experts, we will discuss your options and help make the best recommendation for you.

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