How many times have you stepped outside looking forward to feeling the sun on your face, only to wince at the sudden glare?
The obvious remedy is sunglasses, but that can become complicated for those of us with prescription glasses. Short of buying a separate pair of prescription sunglasses or wearing contacts just so we can wear non-prescription sunglasses, how can we escape the glare?
What Are Photochromic Lenses?
You probably already know photochromic lenses under another name: Transitions®. This is just a brand name, like Kleenex or Band-Aid; the actual name for the lens type is photochromic, meaning lenses that darken like sunglasses when exposed to direct sunlight and lighten again indoors. These lenses are self-tinting, adaptive, and light-reactive!
Protect Your Vision
Protecting our eyesight from the sun’s UV rays is crucial, as they can cause short-term damage like photokeratitis (sunburn of the eye) and even lead to long-term problems like cataracts. Photochromic lenses play an important role in helping provide the protection you need because they absorb 100% of UVA/UVB rays.
On the road, sometimes the sun can make it hard to see, and trying to squint at road signs in harsh lighting can cause major eye strain. Your windshield already protects you from harmful UV rays to an extent, but wearing photochromic lenses can add protection from glare and make your eyes much more comfortable.
Sunglasses Versus Photochromic Lenses
Photochromic lenses are similar to sunglasses in many ways, but some prefer one over the other. One advantage of photochromic lenses is that they save you the cost of prescription sunglasses. You can buy one pair that’s great for both indoors and outdoors, and you won’t have worry about remembering to bring your other pair everywhere.
If cost and convenience are your main concerns, then photochromic lenses are a great option. However, if you like sunglasses for their style or tend to prefer darker lenses, regular prescription sunglasses may serve you better. Another factor to consider is whether you take a lot of photos outside, because photochromic lenses will darken in sunlight even when you don’t want them to!
We’d Love To Help You Pick Your Pair
Whether photochromic lenses or prescription sunglasses are the better option for you, we strongly encourage you make your eye safety a priority by wearing some form of UV eye protection outside. If photochromic lenses are something you feel you could benefit from, visit or call your local Vision Source® member optometrist today and they can discuss which options would be best for you!
We can help you find what you’re looking for in proper eye protection!
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