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Transition lenses are an amazing innovation that automatically converts your clear lenses while indoors to a darker color when outdoors. This happens in just mere seconds. Because of the darker color when outdoors, it reduces eye fatigue and strain due to glare. A transition lens can also be designed to block 100% of the UV rays, which helps protect your eyes from harmful light such as light emitted from the bright sun, screens, and digital devices.
Discussing the science behind the transition lens can be a complicated subject. However, there's a layman's way of understanding it. Such kind of lens uses patented photochromic dyes that are activated when exposed to UV light from sunlight. Upon activation, the dye automatically darkens.
The technology is also known as light-responsive lenses, variable tint, and light-adaptive. Hence, when people mention these terms, it usually means transition lenses.
There's nothing harmful about wearing sunglasses, which is what a transition lens is practically about (when worn outdoors). The added benefit of the transition lens is that it automatically becomes clear when indoors, which means you won't be stumbling or tripping around because of the dark-colored glasses.
The two are the same. It's just a matter of using a more technical term or a phrase that one is accustomed to using.
The transition lens is perfectly safe to wear during nighttime, even while driving. The transition technology is only triggered when exposed to sunlight. Hence, it will remain clear during nighttime.
It used to be that a transition lens could add a couple of hundred dollars to your regular lens. Thanks to new technologies and improvements, the cost has drastically gone down. However, a lens with ANRRI technology can add as low as $10.
Most transition lenses are completely clear when worn indoors or visibly clear. You also have the option to have the lens not completely clear for a bit of protection or to add some style to your eyewear.
On average, a transition lens will do its magic for up to three years. You also have some tell-tale signs that your transition lens is starting to fail, like a yellowish tint at the edges, and it takes longer for the glasses to transition.
While it is true that there are a couple of different types of transition lenses, but there's only one that is commonly used by the general public. Perhaps the most common variation is getting it as non-prescription or prescription glasses.
The short answer is yes. With both technologies, you can have glasses that are suitable for indoors and outdoors while also meeting the multifocal needs of the user.
No. You can add a transition lens to any eyewear frame.
No. Wearing a non-prescription transition lens is just as safe compared to wearing regular sunglasses.