An Overview Of Photochromic Lenses And How They Can Mitigate Migraines


Needing to change between sunglasses and prescription glasses every time that you go inside or outside can be a real pain. Thankfully, there is a solution for you. 

Light sensitive sunglasses (also known as photochromic lenses) are an impressive technological feat that combines the visibility of traditional glasses with the protection and comfort of sunglasses. To help you get a better idea of whether photochromic lenses are right for you, here is a breakdown of how they work:

The Mechanism

Photochromic lenses are clear indoors and dark outdoors, but how does that work? The answer lies in ultraviolet activation. Photochromic lenses contain certain molecules that react when exposed to ultraviolet light. UV light is much stronger outside, when you are in sunlight. This means that your photochromic lenses won't activate indoors unless you happen to be near a source of ultraviolet light.

It can be difficult to figure out what blocks UV light and what does not. For instance, clouds and windows do not block UV rays very well, so your photochromic lenses will likely darken during storms or when you are sitting at a table by a window.

However, many types of glass do block UV rays, such as special windows and many windshields. Naturally, photochromic lenses also catch harmful UV rays before they reach your eyes.

The Materials

The actual lens can be made out of several different kinds of materials.

  • Glass - The oldest material used for photochromic lenses is glass. Glass tends to be heavier and less effective at protecting your eyes than other materials. That being said, glass is also quite resilient to scratching and is very clear. Glass lenses also tend to use specific silver chemicals to react with UV rays.
  • Plastic - Plastics are a bit more lightweight than glass, but they are also more prone to scratching. Plastic offers decent clarity, but it doesn't improve on the protective qualities of glass. 
  • Polycarbonate - The lightest and thinnest option is polycarbonate, which also happens to be extremely durable. On top of that, polycarbonate lenses block out practically all UV light, which means that your eyes will be totally protected. The downside of polycarbonate lenses is that they tend to scratch somewhat easily. If you want to protect your eyes, then there is no better option than polycarbonate.

If you do decide that photochromatic lenses appeal to you, then you should consult your optician (like those at Axon Optics). If you have any concerns, they can help you weigh the pros and cons of your specific situation.

Photochromic Lenses and Migraines

Many migraines are caused by an abundance of visual stimulation. By reducing that stimulation, it is possible to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Studies indicate that photochromic lenses are effective at reducing such visual stimuli and thereby making migraines less problematic for some individuals.


22 September 2015

is your kid ready for contact lenses?

At what age should you consider getting your kid contact lenses? This was one battle that my son and I went back and forth about for over a year. He claimed that he needed contact lenses for school because his glasses got in the way and he just didn't like the way he looked while wearing them. I was worried that he wouldn't take care of them properly and that they would lead to eye infections and other problems. It took a while, but I did more than enough research to help me decide if it was time for him to get contact lenses. I have shared everything that I have learned about contact lenses and teenagers here on this blog.