$1,000 LASIK Discount Washington DC
Myvision.org Home

Photochromic Lenses: Great Option for Gaming & Computers

Photochromic lenses, also known as transition lenses, are dark when outdoors in sunlight, but they become clear when indoors. These lenses are helpful for driving, sports, outdoor activities, and gaming or computer screen use. 

How Do Photochromic Lenses Affect Gaming or Screen Use?

Blue light can potentially be harmful to overall health, especially when users are exposed to it for long periods of time. This light can come from screens, such as computers, televisions, and smartphones. 

Blue light exposure is a common problem for gamers and heavy computer users. The result is often eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and disrupted sleep patterns.

Photochromic lenses filter blue light and adapt to different lighting conditions automatically. The original intention was for these lenses to adjust to different lighting conditions indoors and outdoors, but it’s been found they can similarly adjust to the different lighting conditions that occur when looking at bright screens. 

The lenses allow for a handsfree shift in the darkness of the lenses. Gamers can keep their hands on their controllers and don’t have to adjust the brightness of their screens or sacrifice their eye protection. 

What Are the Benefits of Photochromic Lenses? 

These are some of the benefits of photochromic lenses:

  • Protection from UV light: UVA and UVB light can be damaging to overall eye health, potentially contributing to the development of serious eye disorders like cataracts. Photochromic lenses protect eyes from both UVA and UVB rays, even when the lenses are not dark. 
  • Convenience: Photochromic lenses eliminate the need to carry two pairs of glasses — standard eyeglasses and sunglasses. This is especially beneficial for people who spend a lot of time outdoors or go back and forth between the indoors and outdoors frequently. 
  • Financial savings: Photochromic lenses are more expensive than traditional prescription lenses, but they are less expensive than paying for both prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses.

Why Are Photochromic Lenses Good for Computer & Gaming?

Because photochromic lenses darken and lighten in response to ultraviolet (UV) light, the lenses will automatically darken when the wearer is in front of a bright screen and lighten when they change environments and step into a darker area.

Gamers spend so much time looking at their screens, so they are constantly exposed to blue light. When they wear photochromic lenses, much of this blue light can be blocked to protect their eyes. 

Photochromic lenses can also help people to better handle intense light and adjust back to normal vision after being exposed to bright light. These lenses can protect the eyes against damage caused by exposure to UVA and UVB light, just like a normal pair of sunglasses.

What Are Photochromic Lenses Made Of?

Photochromic lenses are not like traditional prescription lenses. They feature photochromic molecules, which cause the lenses to darken and lighten as needed based on their exposure to UV light. 

Different manufacturers use different materials to make photochromic lenses. Some common options include polycarbonate, high-index plastic, and glass. 

The most popular material is polycarbonate because it is lightweight and durable. This makes it resistant to breakage and scratches while also providing protection against UV rays. 

High-index plastic is a common lens choice as well because it is thinner and lighter than other types of plastic lenses. This makes the lenses more comfortable for prolonged use by gamers and multi-hour computer users.

It’s important to note that the photochromic molecules in the lenses may lose efficacy over time. This deterioration can cause  them to take more time to go from dark to light and vice versa, or the lenses may not darken or lighten as much as they did originally. 

Photochromic vs. Transition Lenses: What’s the Difference?

There is no difference between photochromic lenses and Transition lenses. Both refer to lenses that automatically lighten and darken based on light exposure. 

Transitions is a brand name for the photochromic lens made by Essilor, and photochromic lenses refer to any lenses made by any company that respond to UV light exposure by lightening or darkening, including the ones made by Essilor. 

Essentially, all Transitions lenses are photochromic lenses, but not all photochromic lenses are Transitions.

Whether you choose to purchase Transitions brands lenses or another brand that offers photochromic lenses, you will likely experience similar results. These lenses can be a solid choice for gamers who are ready to cut down on their blue light and UV light exposure.


Research Progress about the Effect and Prevention of Blue Light on Eyes. (December 2018). International Journal of Ophthalmology.

Transitions & Photochromic Lenses. Ferris State University.

Differences in the Optical Properties of Photochromic Lenses Between Cold and Warm Temperatures. (May 2020). PLOS One.

The Effects of Photochromic Lenses on Visual Performance. (June 2016). Clinical & Experimental Optometry.

The Effect of a Photochromic Contact Lens on Visual Function Indoors: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. (July 2020). Optometry and Vision Science.

The Benefits of Early Ocular UV Protection in Children: An Overview. (2004). Global Transitions.

The Commercialization of Plastic Photochromic Lenses: A Tribute to John Crano. (September 2006). Taylor & Francis Online.

Unexpected Vision Performance With Photochromic Contact Lenses in Normal and Low Light Conditions: An Analysis of Two Randomized Trials. (April–June 2023). Journal of Optometry.
Evaluation of Vision-Related Quality of Life of Patients Wearing Photochromic Lenses. (July 2002). The CLAO Journal: official publication of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.

Not sure if you’re a LASIK candidate?
30 Second Quiz