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Photochromic lenses: here's what the people who tried them say. Let's try to give them some answers.

Developed in the United States in the mid-60s, Corning, a company specialising in glass and ceramic processing, began to experiment with the possibility of applying materials that could react chemically to UV rays, and thus was born the idea of combining them with lenses for ophthalmic use. Subsequently, around the mid-1980s, with the evolution of technology and studies on organic materials, it became possible to mass produce photochromic lenses that performed better and were lighter. Today, with increased knowledge of chemicals and technological development, we can say that great leaps have been made in the world of photochromic lenses, achieving an optimal relationship between performance and technical characteristics.
However, many questions about photochromic lenses still remain, and often it is hard to get clear answers or more questions can be raised than answered. So we asked ourselves: what do those who have used or who still use these particular types of lenses say?
Let’s find out together.



Now I don’t have to carry two different pairs of glasses with me


“I work as a sales representative. My typical day is very busy and I’m constantly moving indoors and outdoors. I have a visual defect that doesn’t allow me to be without glasses, but since I move around a lot, especially in summer, I felt the need for a pair of sunglasses. However, I constantly had to change glasses throughout the day and sometimes I forgot them at home or at the office. So my optician suggested I buy a pair of glasses with photochromic lenses. This way I was able to have a pair of glasses that can be used both as prescription glasses and sunglasses without always having to carry two different pairs of glasses with me”.


Is this true?

Yes. Photochromic lenses are lenses that have the ability to gradually adapt the absorption of light according to the ambient brightness. When there is little light the lens is in its “light” state, like eyeglasses, while when exposed to direct sunlight it shifts to its “dark” state, like sunglasses.
This is possible because when the lenses are produced a photosensitive substance is inserted that, when exposed to sunlight and consequently to UV rays, changes its physical and chemical state by starting the photochromic darkening reaction. Photochromic lenses are therefore a practical way to always fully protect our eyes against UVA and UVB rays, offering an excellent solution for those who do not want to continuously switch between sunglasses and eyeglasses.


I was very impressed


“For many years I have been growing different types of flowers and plants in greenhouses. During the day sunlight creates several problems for me but I can’t work without glasses to see up close, so I opted for a pair of photochromic lenses. I was very impressed: some had advised me not to buy them because they wouldn’t be activated inside the greenhouse since the walls filter the sun’s rays, but instead they work very well and I solved all my problems”.


Is that true?

Absolutely, yes. Over the years the technology has developed considerably. In fact, types of very sensitive photochromic materials that are activated even by filtered rays. This allows them to be used not only indoors, but especially in areas like the car, where our eyes are always exposed to UV rays both on sunny and cloudy days, and it is therefore of fundamental importance to always protect them. Photochromic lenses are perfect for everyday use because they help eyes adapt to different light conditions by gradually increasing or decreasing the colour intensity in the lens, thus avoiding the visual fatigue that often accompanies switching between dark indoor environments and the bright outdoors.



I would like to be more fashionable
“I’m 21 years old and I bought a pair of glasses with photochromic lenses about a year ago. They are very useful, but if I had to do it again I’m not convinced I would get them: when they darken they become dark grey, while given my age I would like to be more fashionable with colours that are a bit flashier.”


So am I limited to grey shading?

No. Photochromic lenses come in different colours, depending on the substances used to make them. In the past the main colours were grey and brown, but today major manufacturers have also managed to develop green, grey green and blue, and many others will be added in the future.


Do you have any other questions or topics that you would like to get more information about? Complete the form and send us your questions! Otherwise, read the other articles in our Academy section.


If you want to offer your customers the opportunity to buy photochromic lenses, take a look at our Eyecommerce shop or visit our page.

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