Prescription Sunglasses or Transition Lenses: Which is Better?

By  //  June 25, 2023

Research shows that sun damage today may be more severe than it was a few decades ago thanks to the increase in harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Consequently, experts have noticed an upward trend in the development of sun-induced conditions, such as skin cancer and a weakened immune system.

Evidently, another organ that can suffer greatly from UV rays is the eyes. Cataract development, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis are just some of the ailments one can incur from sun exposure. Therefore, eye experts recommend wearing protective eyewear now more than ever. Since approximately 3 out of 5 people need prescription eyewear, they’re now faced with deciding whether to go for prescription sunglasses or transition lenses to address sun-related eye concerns. If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to help you make this decision, keep reading.

Prescription sunglasses

Just as the name suggests, these are sunglasses with lenses that have your prescription. They are dedicated eyewear designed for bright environments and intense light sources. They are generally recommended if you spend long periods of time outdoors and under the sun. Since their primary purpose is ultraviolet light protection, they come with darker tints to completely filter out harmful UV rays. However, this does mean that sunglass wearers will have to carry their regular prescription frames around and switch out their eyewear once it gets too dark or when they move indoors. On the bright side, prescription sunglasses have the added benefit of being manufactured by specialist brands. This means that companies like Oakley, which makes eyewear specifically for active people, have prescription sunglasses that are suited for special needs like sports. These frames can simultaneously protect your eyes and improve your vision by giving you an enhanced field of view. With prescription sunglasses, you’ll have countless options for frame types with ultraviolet protection.

Transition lenses

On the other hand, transition lenses are prescription lenses with a transition coating applied. They start looking like any standard clear eyeglasses, but their special feature is darkening under the sun. They’ll clear up again and return to normal once inside. They’re great if you need quick ultraviolet protection from the sun since you conveniently won’t have to switch frames. They’re also available in different tint colors, so you can pick one that matches your style. However, they’re not as dark as regular sunglasses, so they may not alleviate any squinting or eyestrain if you stay under the sun for a long time. With their popularity, you can find a selection of transition lenses from any eyewear retailer, such as GlassesUSA. You can choose among fun tint colors that will darken under the sun in approximately 30 seconds. With transition lenses, you’ll essentially have a 2-in-1 package for your eyewear.

So which is better?

As discussed above, both choices have their own set of benefits. They’re both widely available online, so you’ll have no problems purchasing as long as you provide the correct prescription information to your chosen retailer. Fortunately, most eye prescriptions are valid for a year, so you won’t have to rush buying your next pair of prescription sunglasses or transition lenses. Ultimately, deciding which one is better depends on your lifestyle. Both offer different degrees of ultraviolet protection and convenience. Use the information above to determine which sun protection eyewear is better suited for you.