What Is Photochromic Technology?

glassesPhotochromic technology can be incredibly important to your eye health and can have a number of benefits when it comes to comfortable vision. Wearing photochromic lenses can be advantageous to your vision and your lifestyle. So, what is photochromic technology and how does it work?

Photochromic technology is made from patented formulas which become part of the lens in your glasses. The technology works in a very clever way, working automatically so that you don’t need to do anything except put your photochromic lenses on!

The basics

When photochromic lenses are exposed to UV light, the molecules in the lenses begin to change the structure. This reaction is what causes the lenses to darken, in order to protect your eyes.

The molecules seamlessly and constantly recalibrate and adapt to the changing light conditions, so that only the optimal amount of light reaches your eyes. Whether you are in bright sunlight, under cloud cover or indoors, photochromic lenses will adapt automatically.

Most photochromic lenses react primarily to UV light, which is why they darken in bright light and remain clear when indoors., some photochromic lenses are not designed to work in your car. This is because your car windshield blocks most UV light, and so some photochromic lenses won’t darken sufficiently. In the same way, you would swap to your sunglasses when wearing a clear lens you can simply do the same. There are Specific products available if you are looking for a lens to work in the car.

Technology has continued to evolve and there are now photochromic lenses available that will respond to both UV light and natural light.

The process

Photochromic technology has to be added to the lens in order for it to work. This happens through one of two processes; the first is known as imbibing. This method uses heat to draw the photochromic dye into the lens, with a scratch-resistant coating applied to the surface of the lens afterward.

However, not all lens materials are conducive to imbibing. In this case, a method known as Trans-Bonding is used. Where imbibing places the photochromic technology below the lens surface, Trans-Bonding puts the technology on the lens surface.

The benefits

Photochromic lenses can be used across many different lens designs, like varifocals and single vision lenses. This can result in a much more comfortable visual experience for the wearer.

Photochromic lenses will shield your eyes from 100% of UVA and UVB rays, which have been linked to an increased risk of eye disease like cataracts. By having both these lenses and sunglasses, you can experience a reduced need to squint in all light conditions which, in turn, can reduce eye strain.