Photochromic Lenses Vs. Prescription Sunglasses

Photochromic lenses and prescription sunglasses have made it much easier for people who can’t wear contact lenses and must wear prescription eyeglasses. In this blog, Northview Eye Care shares an overview of these two options and which is right for you.

Photochromic Lenses

You may already be familiar with Transitions®, a brand of photochromic lenses. These lenses look just like any other clear pair of prescription glasses when indoors. When exposed to a source of UV radiation such as sunlight, they darken within a minute, thanks to a chemical action within the lenses. Once you move into an indoor space, they become clear again after a few minutes.

One of the main benefits of photochromic lenses is their convenience, as you don’t have to carry multiple pairs of eyewear. It’s the ideal option for situations where you need both hands, such as when riding a motorcycle. Vehicle windshields may already have UV filters, which means photochromic lenses may not darken while driving. Also, photochromic lenses do not darken under LED and other non-UV lighting, so they won’t protect your eyes from bright neon signs or headlights.

Prescription Sunglasses

Prescription sunglasses are basically sunglasses with prescription-strength lenses, which means you can’t just buy one off the rack. You’ll still need to have an eye exam performed for the right prescription strength. You can choose more types of tints and styles. Prescription sunglasses can be used for driving as long as the tint isn’t too dark. You will also need to carry a separate pair of clear glasses for indoor use.

Which One Is Best for You?

When choosing between the two, consider your activities. If you alternate between indoor and outdoor spaces, photochromic lenses are best, especially when you consider the convenience of not having to carry two pairs of glasses. If you do mostly outdoor work or evening work that involves handling strong light sources, then prescription sunglasses are ideal. If you’re still not sure which one works with you, visit an optical professional for a consultation.

Northview Eye Care is your leading provider of ophthalmic services. Give us a call at (616) 202-1095 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. We serve clients in Grand Rapids, MI.