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Let’s Have a Look at Photochromic Lenses

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This cool lens technology debuted nearly 60 years ago, albeit as much clunkier versions of what is now a well-established technology.

Photochromic lenses, commonly called transition lenses, transition from clear to dark and back again. This process, the result of technology using photochromic dyes, allows its wearer to enjoy comfortable vision inside and outside.

You can find many photochromic lenses and photochromic sunglasses in our eyewear gallery and Sunglass Cove. If you want to check a pair of transition lenses out for yourself, you’re welcome to pop in to have a look!

How Photochromic Technology Works

Photochromic lenses only transition from light to dark in the presence of UV light (of which most comes from sunlight). This is because the UV rays interact with photochromic dyes that are embedded into the lens.

This interaction causes the dye to change shape, substantially increasing its size and subsequent surface area. As the dye increases in size, the lenses grow darker. The level of darkness depends on the type of lens and amount of sunlight the lens is exposed to.

Notes About Photochromic Lenses

  • Many photochromic lenses do not change tint when behind glass, such as when you are behind your vehicle’s windshield. This is because UV rays are blocked by the glass, and since the UV rays aren’t interacting with the photochromic dyes, no change in darkness occurs.
  • Most photochromic lenses will darken to a comfortable level in under 1 minute, but can take 3 to 5 minutes to clear when going indoors.

Should You Check Out a Pair of Photochromic Lenses?

If you’ve been thinking about getting a pair of prescription sunglasses, photochromic lenses may be a great all in one solution. Instead of having two pairs of prescription glasses, you can have both eyeglasses and sunglasses in one.

If you often transition between in and outside, photochromic lenses will also offer considerably more convenience and simplicity than having to constantly change your glasses. It’s also more affordable since you only seed a single pair.

Come visit us if you’re looking for transition lenses- we’ve got plenty for you to check out.

Dr Moore

Written by Shawn Moore

Dr. Moore began his career in Barrie, moved to Orillia, and purchased what is now Orillia Optometry in 2001. Dr. Moore thoroughly enjoys primary care optometry, but his areas of interest are vision therapy, concussion management, contact lenses / multifocal contact lenses, and dry eye.

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