What is the Difference Between Transitions Glasses and Prescription Sunglasses?

by Sep 29, 2021

Many people want the clear vision that their prescription glasses provide along with the comfort that sunglasses or tinted lenses can provide.

To provide both clarity and protection from the sun, both photochromic lenses, which are marketed under the brand name Transitions, and prescription sunglasses can be prescribed by your eye doctor.


What are Transitions Glasses?

Transitions lenses can be placed in any ophthalmic eyeglasses frame but must be special ordered with the ability to change colors when outdoors.

These lenses are unique in that the lenses react to ultraviolet light from the sun. When the photochromic or Transitions lenses are exposed to UV light, the lenses darken progressively based on the intensity and length of the exposure.

Today, most lenses are made from a variety of plastics as opposed to glass. In order to create the Transitions lenses, a specific chemical is added to give the color changing property.

Transitions lenses come in a selection of neutral and style colors including gray, brown, blue, and amber.

Since the Transitions lenses are created at the beginning of manufacturing, it is not possible to add Transitions to another pair of glasses after they have been made.


When do Transitions Lenses Change Color?

Transitions lenses react to the UV light from the sun. This means any time the lenses are outside they will change to the darker tint.

However, if the UV light is blocked, the lenses will not change. Car windshields are coated with UV protection therefore the Transitions will not darken behind inside a car.

The Transitions will lighten once the UV exposure has ended. After coming inside, the sun setting, or getting in a car, the Transitions will begin to clear back to completely transparent.


What are Prescription Sunglasses?

Sunglasses are sold at a variety or prices and locations but the quality and need for a prescription in the lenses requires the purchase of prescription sunglasses from a licensed eye doctor.

In these sunglasses, the tint is applied to a lens that is the correct prescription power based on your eyes.

These sunglasses can come in virtually any color or tint based on the capabilities of the optical lab that is finishing the lenses. The tint can be darker or lighter for specific needs or activities.

These sunglasses will function just like any other pair and not change color or tint.


When are Transition Glasses the Best Option?

Transitions are the best option if you want a single pair of glasses to wear all the time and have protection from the sun when outdoors.

Also, the Transitions are a great option if you want to have a varied tint of the glasses based on the brightness or duration.


When are Prescription Sunglasses the Best Option?

Prescription sunglasses are the best option if you want a separate pair of tinted glasses and clear or everyday glasses.

The main benefit of prescription sunglasses is the ability to rapidly change between the clear and tinted pairs of glasses.

An additional benefit of prescription sunglasses is that they are darkened while driving a car.

Also, prescription sunglasses have the ability to be customized in tints, colors, and different coatings such as antireflective.


Overall Transitions or Prescription Sunglasses?

Both Transitions and Prescription Sunglasses have a multitude of uses.

To determine which option is the best for you, consult with your eye doctor.

Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about transition glasses as an option for you. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler, provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

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