Friday, February 12, 2010


Transitions Lenses rock my world. I am lazy with a capital “L” when it comes to sunglasses. I always have the best of intentions when I purchase sunglasses, but since I am not one of those people who wears them to be cool, they usually end up either 1) left on the kitchen or bathroom counter, 2) left in the car, 3) left in the bag I was sure I was going to need or 4) stuck in the deepest recesses of some drawer somewhere in my house. Sometimes they end up in the bathroom cabinet, and sometimes they end up in the glasses graveyard that is my bedside table, but more often than not I’m a little unclear as to where they actually end up since they pretty much leave my field of consciousness immediately upon purchase.

The most interesting phenomenon about this is that I wear glasses and therefore my sunglasses are prescription. As such, they are not cheap. In fact they are rather pricey even though I tend to opt out of the high fashion styles. Nonetheless, I will wear said prescription sunglasses for a few days, maybe even a few weeks and then I’ll forget them one time when I go out. After that, the seal is broken and I’ll forget them every consecutive time, until I have no idea where I saw them last and the decision comes down from high that I don’t really need them anyway.

Since I know that direct sunlight is bad for my eyes, I have attempted to remedy myself of this terrible habit time and time again. I started with nonprescription sunglasses (back in the day that I actually wore contact lenses) but that became too complicated because I didn’t wear contact lenses all the time and therefore I had to time my contact lense wearing with the potential need for sunglasses wearing and that was just a logistical nightmare. I can barely coordinate my outfits without Garanimals so to expect to be able to coordinate my eyewear with my day’s activities is just too much to bear. Once I gave up the contact lense ghost, I tried prescription sunglasses, but since you’ve read to here, you already know how that turned out. Then I tried prescription glasses with the sunglass clips. I figured that those would be somehow less complicated than having two different pairs of glasses for different functions. The clip seemed so small and simple. A little clip that slips anywhere and allows you to turn your regular glasses into sunglasses with the flick of a metal catch. What I didn’t consider was the little clip also tends to be very illusive and thus requires a great deal of attention to assure it is not regularly misplaced. I am sad to report, it was. Early, often and at the cost of >$150 each time. This little clip habit become very costly, very rapidly.

There was also the small problem of loosing the clip right around the time my glasses style stopped being made. So the >$150 clip replacement turned into a >$300 new pair of glasses. Awesome right? Nothing says it’s going to be good day like realizing that the simple task of replacing the same item you’ve already replaced a half a dozen times is now discontinued and no longer exists.

So to avoid such annoyances and protect what little vision I have left, I opted for Transitions Lenses. It certainly seemed ideal. One pair, no periodic contact lense wearing, no changing frames based on location or activity, no loosing clips. Ahhh…simplicity.

If you are not familiar with Transitions Lenses they are the glasses that have some magical property that makes them darken in the sun and lighten in the shade. Their initial ad campaign featured an attractive woman in a sperm suit walking from the dark inside to the light outside and her Transitions Lenses doing what they do best to accommodate her visual needs. Her sperm suit not withstanding, her glasses did their job. They successfully darkened when she went outside thus minimizing glare, reducing eye stress, blocking 100% of harmful UVA and UVB radiation and lowering her risk of developing certain eye diseases. Not bad for some plastic and wire.

Although I would love to be as attractive as the mystery sperm-suit lady, I was pretty sure Transitions Lenses would not help in that regard. Nonetheless, I purchased some. They may not make me hot, but at least they’ll keep me from going blind, and as far as product claims go, that’s good enough for me.

You can get your Transitions Lenses to tint to different colors depending on your taste, frame color or dominant wardrobe color. They really are pretty great and honestly they do alleviate the concern of having to remember yet another thing every time you leave the house. I was told by a colleague that they don’t change well in the cold, but have found that to not be true. The only issue that I have with Transitions Lenses is that they can’t distinguish between “sunlight” and “glare”. The glare from snow makes it appear brighter than it actually is, so in the winter my glasses tend to get darker than is necessary for the actual sky brightness based on the angle of the sun. Some days this does not bother me, but other days it feels like I’m living in Alaska where the sun doesn’t rise beyond dawn for weeks on end. That said, if you live somewhere with no snow, don’t care about dark glasses or actually prefer to be incognito, Transitions Lenses are for you. They certainly make maintaining eye health easier, and as far as I’m concerned, anything that makes maintaining health on any level easier is a major asset. Transitions Lenses definitely do their job. I suppose as far as preventing blindness, I’ll have to get back to you on that one in about 20 years, but so far, so good.

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