What Are Photochromic Lenses? How Do They Work?

Have you ever wished for glasses that can adapt to different environments? Photochromic lenses can make it come true.  You’ve probably heard of these lenses and their amazing capabilities, but you may not know exactly what they are or how they work.

Photochromic lenses, also known as light adaptive lenses, are a type of lens that automatically adjusts to changing light conditions. These lenses work by changing their structure when exposed to UV light, causing them to darken and providing a comfortable tint for optimal vision.  Let’s learn more about them.

How Do Normal Sunglasses Function?

Normal sunglasses reduce the amount of light entering the eyes in two ways. Some use colored lenses, which only allow the light of a specific color to pass through and block the rest. This results in a darkened, colored view. The other type uses polarisation, in which lenses act as slits to allow only light waves to vibrate in a single direction. This results in a darkened, grey view.

Photochromic lenses, however, are distinct as they respond to ultraviolet (UV) light by darkening. Indoors, where there is minimal UV light, photochromic lenses remain clear, but outdoors where there is more UV light from the sun, they darken.

Why would you need to wear photochromic lenses?

If you are someone who is outside a lot, whether you’re an athlete or just enjoy being in nature, photochromic lenses are a great option for you. They are also a good choice if you have light sensitivity or need prescription glasses. Here’s a brief overview

Photochromic lenses are lenses that darken in sunlight and lighten in indoor lighting. They do this because they contain molecules of silver halide or silver chloride, which change shape when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This process is reversible, so when the UV rays are no longer present, the molecules return to their original state and the lenses lighten up again.

How do they work?

Today’s photochromic lenses are typically made of plastic and contain organic (carbon-based) naphthopyran molecules, instead of silver chemicals. These molecules change their molecular structure when exposed to ultraviolet light and absorb more light, causing the lens to darken. It’s like closing the blinds on a sunny day, as the molecules darken, they block out more and more light. This process allows photochromic lenses to automatically adjust to changing light conditions, eliminating the need for multiple pairs of glasses or sunglasses.

Photochromic lenses are a type of eyewear lens that changes colour in response to light exposure. The molecules in the lens are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) rays, and when exposed to UV rays, they undergo a chemical reaction that causes them to darken. When the UV rays are no longer present, the molecules return to their original state and the lens becomes clear again.

Photochromic lenses provide many benefits for those who wear them. They offer protection from harmful UV rays, reduce glare, and enhance contrast and visibility. They also eliminate the need for sunglasses, since the lenses will automatically adjust to different light conditions.

Advantages of photochromic lenses

  • They offer great UV protection, blocking out both UVA and UVB rays. This safeguards your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Photochromic lenses adjust to changing light conditions, meaning you won’t have to carry around multiple pairs of glasses or sunglasses. This can be especially helpful if you play sports or spend time outdoors.
  • Photochromic lenses are available in a variety of styles and colors to suit your needs and preferences.

Disadvantages of photochromic lenses

  • They can take a few minutes to adjust to changes in light, so if you walk from a dark room into bright sunlight, it may take a minute or two for the lenses to darken.
  • They don’t work as well in very cold weather and may not darken at all in direct sunlight if the temperature is below freezing.
  • While most photochromic lenses block both UVA and UVB rays, some varieties only offer UVB protection.

How to choose the right photochromic lenses for you?

Photochromic lenses are a great option for people who need vision correction and want the convenience of not having to wear glasses all the time. But how do you know if photochromic lenses are right for you? Consider these factors:

  • Your lifestyle: Do you have frequent outdoor activities? If so, photochromic lenses could be a good option for you. They darken in response to sunlight, so you won’t have to worry about carrying around a pair of sunglasses.
  • Your eyesight: If you have astigmatism or other vision problems, photochromic lenses may not be ideal. Talk to your eye doctor to see if they would work for your individual needs.
  • Your budget: Photochromic lenses can be more expensive than regular eyeglass lenses. But keep in mind that you’ll only need one pair of glasses (instead of a pair of glasses and sunglasses), so they may end up saving you money in the long run.

Summing Up…

Photochromic lenses offer a convenient and practical option for individuals who need vision correction. With their ability to adapt to changing light conditions, they provide both versatility and UV protection, eliminating the need for separate glasses and sunglasses. Additionally, their variety of styles and colors make them a stylish choice for those with an active lifestyle. City Optik with a wealth of experience and expertise in the field provides you with superior photochromic lenses. Our opticals in  Thalassery has a wide variety of eyewear for you. We are dedicated to providing our clients with high-quality, comfortable, and stylish eyewear solutions. We have Opticals in Tirur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, and Trivandrum to ensure reachability at your convenience. If you’re looking for a practical and versatile solution, such as photochromic lenses, or a more traditional pair of glasses, we are committed to helping you find the perfect pair to suit your needs and preferences. Visit us today and see the difference for yourself.