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Ask The Optician | Optical Centre VisionDirect AU

What Is 'Photochromic'?

Photochromic lenses, also known as light adaptive lenses or light reactive lenses, are a type of lens that reacts to UV light. In brighter conditions, these photochromic adaptive lenses will darken and as conditions become darker, the lenses will once again become clear. These types of lenses offer a great alternative to switching between glasses and prescription sunglasses.

 

What are Photochromic Lenses?

Photochromic lenses are glasses lenses that react to different levels of UV light.

When exposed to bright light on a sunny day, chemicals in the lens react and become darker, offering protection from the sun’s radiation. As light levels decrease, the chemicals go back to their original state and become transparent once more.

Photochromic lenses only react when exposed directly to UV light, meaning that in an office or home environment, they will remain clear.

 

How Do Photochromic Lenses Work?

Photochromic lenses contain chemicals such as silver chloride that absorb light when exposed to UV rays; it is this reaction that causes them to darken in sunlight. When removed from a UV light-rich environment, the process reverses, causing the lenses to gradually become clearer.

Photochromic lenses typically take around 15 minutes to fully darken, although some changes become visible within the first minute.

 

Do I Need Photochromic Lenses?

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, or even just enjoy going out in the sun, photochromic lenses may be for you. Their lens technologies ensure that the level of natural light is accurately accounted for, leaving your vision intact and your eyes protected. They’re rightfully very popular among sportsmen, as they allow them to retain your prescription as well as enjoy higher levels of UV protection.

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