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Transitions® Lenses FAQ

What Are Transitions® Photochromic Lenses?

Photochromic lenses are lenses that darken when exposed to UV light, such as when you walk outdoors. When you are no longer exposed to the effects of UV, (i.e. walk indoors), the lenses return to their clear state. Transitions® lenses are a brand of lenses made by Essilor, the world’s largest lens company, and Transitions® photochromic lenses that block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. Many people love the convenience of photochromic lenses, as they can have the convenience of both regular eyeglasses and sunglasses in just one pair of lenses.

Why Is Protecting Your Eyes From Harmful UV Radiation Important?

Many people routinely take precautions to protect their skin against UV rays but are unaware of the need to protect their eyes against UV damage. Research indicates that long-term, unprotected exposure to the sunlight can lead to age-related conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts and other eye conditions that can compromise healthy sight. Most eye care professionals now recommend that people protect their eyes against UV exposure at all times.

Do Transitions® Lenses Protect Against UV Rays?

Yes. Transitions® lenses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. In fact, Transitions® lenses are the first to earn the American Optometric Association (AOA) Seal of Acceptance for UV Absorbers/Blockers.

Do Transitions® Lenses Reduce Glare?

Yes. Transitions® lenses react quickly to changing light and can become as dark as sunglasses outside in bright sunlight. As light conditions change, the level of tint adjusts to provide the right tint at the right time. This convenient protection against glare is automatic.

Can I Use Transitions® Lenses Like Sunglasses?

Outdoors, Transitions® lenses automatically darken depending upon the amount of UV radiation present. The brighter the sun, the darker Transitions® lenses get, all the way to as dark as most sunglasses. So, they help enhance the quality of your vision by reducing the sun’s glare in different light conditions; on bright sunny days, on cloudy days and everything in between.

However, since extremely high temperatures tend to affect lens performance, original Transitions® lenses may not always get as dark as sunglasses. Also, since they are activated by UV exposure, original Transitions® lenses don’t work behind the windshield of a car since your windshield actually blocks UV rays.

As a solution to hot weather performance and behind the windshield activation, Transitions® launched Transitions® XTRActive™ lenses. These lenses are the darkest everyday photochromic lenses on the market. They offer superior darkness in all temperatures, thus delivering excellent sun protection for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. In addition, these lenses offer a slight tint indoors and activate moderately behind the windshield of a car.

Can Transitions® Lenses Enhance My Quality of Vision?

Yes. Because Transitions® lenses adjust to changing light conditions and reduce glare, they enhance the ability to discern objects of varying size, brightness and contrast, enabling you to see better in all light conditions.

How Do Transitions® Lenses Work?

Transitions® lenses contain special photochromic dyes that cause the lens to activate, or darken, when exposed to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. When the UV light diminishes, the lenses fade back. As light conditions change, the level of tint adjusts, offering the right tint at the right time. It’s important to note that the UV radiation blockage remains constant. Transitions® lenses provide automatic protection from UV radiation in both the clear and darkened states. Transitions® XTRActive™ lenses add the benefits of visible light activation in addition to UV light. This allows them to get darker than original Transitions® lenses, have improved hot weather performance, and activate behind the windshield of a car (which blocks UV light).

Are Transitions® Lenses A Good Alternative To Clear Lenses?

Yes. Original Transitions® lenses are as clear as clear lenses indoors, and as dark as most sunglasses outdoors in bright sunlight. As light conditions change, the lenses adjust quickly to provide the appropriate level of tint. They block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, providing convenient protection from UV radiation.

For those who spend a lot of time outdoors or in hot climates, Transitions® XTRActive™ lenses are a great choice. These lenses are the darkest photochromics available and perform well in outdoor settings. They also feature a slight tint indoors and activate moderately behind the windshield of a car.

Transitions®lenses are compatible with all frame styles, and are available in all types of lens materials and designs, from high index to shatter-resistant materials, from single vision lenses to progressives.

How Fast Do Transitions® Lenses Work?

Transitions® lenses begin to darken the moment they are exposed to UV light. The greater the intensity of UV radiation, the darker the lenses become. The moment UV rays are no longer present; the lenses begin to fade back. In short, Transitions® lenses quickly darken when you go outdoors, and fade back fast when you return indoors. Most wearers report the adjustment happens so smoothly that they are unaware of it. They are aware, however, of their continued visual comfort.

Are Transitions® Lenses Suitable For Driving?

Windshields in today’s vehicles block most of the UV rays that cause Transitions® lenses to activate, or darken. As a result, just like clear lenses, most Transitions® lenses do not activate inside a car. An exception is Transitions® XTRActive™ lenses which feature moderate activation behind the car’s windshield, improved darkness in hot outdoor conditions, and a slight indoor tint.

Special-purpose driving lenses have been developed that combine polarized lens technology with Transitions® technology. These lenses carry the name Drivewear™.

Are Transitions® Lenses Appropriate To Wear While Working at a Computer?

Yes. They can be worn any place that you would wear regular, clear lenses all day, every day. Transitions® lenses help you see more comfortably inside and out, day and night.

Are Transitions® Lenses Available In Different Lens Designs?

Yes. Transitions® products are available for virtually every prescription, material and lens design. They are also available in shatter-resistant, standard and high index lens materials. Regardless of your prescription or lens preference, you may choose either gray or brown Transitions® lenses. Transitions® lenses are also compatible with lens treatments and options such as anti-reflective (AR) coating, scratch resistant coating and edge polish (which removes the frosted look from lens edges).


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