Transition Lenses Pros and Cons

While we all love our sunny weather in North Texas, we do need protection from the glare to aid our vision and protect our eyes from UV rays. That’s where sunglasses come into the picture.

If you wear contact lenses, the entire range of sunglass possibilities are open to you. If you wear eyeglasses, you have the option of a pair of prescription sunglasses, clip-on sunglass attachments, or transition lenses that change to match the needs of the moment.

What Are Transition Lenses?

sunTransition, or photochromic, lenses are clear prescription lenses that automatically darken when exposed to ultraviolet light (UV). They also automatically move back to clear when indoors.


There are a number of advantages:

  • Purchase just one pair of glasses–resulting in cost savings and convenience.
  • Automatically adjust to lighting–no need to search for your sunglasses.
  • Available in most lightweight lens materials.
  • Available in bifocals and progressive lenses.
  • Can be particularly helpful for children, who wouldn’t take the time to put on sunglasses. They also protect their eyes from UV rays.


As with most things, with the advantages come some disadvantages:

  • Separate sunglasses can provide fashion options that you wouldn’t even consider for your regular eyeglasses. 
  • Prescription sunglasses can block up to 85% of light, while transition lenses top out at 75%.
  • The transition isn’t instantaneous. Most of the transition happens within 30 seconds but the full transition can take several minutes. This applies to both darkening and lightening. 
  • Driving can be a problem as your car windshield blocks the UV rays that your lenses need to darken. So not all will transition fully when you’re driving. XTRActive will.

On the driving disadvantage, there are new types of transition lenses that react not only to UV light but also to visible light. They can be particularly helpful when you’re driving. But some of these lenses are not recommended for driving at night.

We Can Help

As noted in that last point about new developments in transition lenses, at Vision Source Plano we are constantly on the lookout for new advancements in eye care and vision correction. Plus, we have considerable experience working with our patients across the full array of vision correction options. 

We know what’s available and what works. So we are perfectly positioned to guide your search for just the right eye glasses.

Give us a call and let’s get started providing you superb vision care. Use our contact form or call us at 972-612-2099.

Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Guide to Choosing the Perfect Optometrist