I step outdoors of my workplace on a sunny morning and the extreme vibrant mild makes me squint. As a substitute of reaching for my sun shades like I at all times do, I wait a number of seconds for my new contact lenses to regulate to the sunshine. Inside 30 seconds, the daylight is much less intense — nearly like I’m sporting sun shades, however not fairly.
I’ve worn Acuvue Oasys contacts for 12 years, however for the previous two weeks I swapped out my traditional lenses for Acuvue’s new Oasys with Transitions Gentle Clever Know-how tender contact lenses, which adapt to totally different lighting circumstances robotically. I am going to wager you already know what Transition lenses are — these glasses that flip darkish within the solar and return to clear whenever you step indoors.
Johnson & Johnson (which owns Acuvue) teamed up with Transitions Optical, the model that created these color-changing lenses. After greater than a decade of growth and product testing, they debuted the contacts within the US in March. I attempted them out to see how they labored.
Are they cool? Completely. Do they provide help to see higher within the solar? Yep. Do they often make me seem like an alien from the X-Information and scare my associates? Undoubtedly.
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In most vibrant mild, the contacts flip a purple-brown hue.
How do Acuvue Oasys with Transitions lenses work?
These Acuvue contacts have Transitions’ “Gentle Clever Know-how” — a photochromic additive — blended into the tender hydrogel materials that creates the lens. When this photochromic additive is uncovered to UV mild or blue mild from screens and lightbulbs, it darkens the lens to dam UV radiation and extreme mild waves, identical to sun shades do.
The contacts modify all through your day to permit a constant quantity of sunshine to succeed in your eye, whether or not you are in a darkish theater or outdoors below the solar. When your eyes are uncovered to UV mild, the lenses take round 45 seconds to completely darken. When you step inside, they return to clear in about 90 seconds or much less.
I ought to observe that Acuvue’s different contacts, and get in touch with lenses from different manufacturers — resembling Biotrue and Clariti — additionally block UV radiation, however keep clear in all mild.
What do they seem like?
All through the day, the contacts change colours between clear and a deep, darkish purple-brown. In vibrant, direct daylight with out sun shades, the darkening impact is most pronounced. A lot of the day, in case you work in an workplace, you will not see a lot tint.
On my green-hazel coloured eyes, these contacts flip a darkish shade of purple-brown and fully block out my iris’s pure coloration. Like different tender contact lenses, these utterly cowl your pupil and iris, with a bit of overlap onto the remainder of your eyeball. I’ve to confess, they provide me a distinctly alien look that freaked out nearly everybody I confirmed them to.
In full, direct daylight, the contacts reached their darkest shade, which blocked out the pure coloration of my iris. The impact is, properly, a bit creepy.
With filtered daylight on a cloudy day, they may nonetheless modify, simply to a lighter shade of purplish brown. Even after I take them out at evening, after the solar’s gone down and I have been watching TV or fussing with my telephone, they’ve a faint purple/brown tint as I put them in a case. By morning, they’re practically clear.
Who’re these contacts for?
Johnson & Johnson created these lenses to assist fight mild sensitivity. Anybody who’s gone outdoors on a vibrant day and instantly began squirting is aware of what that is like.
Charissa Lee, Johnson & Johnson Imaginative and prescient Care’s director schooling, informed CNET that an Acuvue Transition lens “reduces disruption to imaginative and prescient resulting from vibrant mild by as much as 32% and repeatedly adapts from clear to darkish and again, serving to your eyes modify to altering mild higher than they’d on their very own.”
The Acuvue Transitions contacts may additionally profit individuals who expertise photophobia, which is introduced on by quite a lot of circumstances, together with migraines and dry eye. For a number of days after I get a migraine, vibrant mild is painful, specializing in a vibrant display screen is difficult and I am going to get floaters in my imaginative and prescient. Whereas these contact lenses can not repair photophobia (which is a neurological difficulty), it will possibly assist make it simpler to take care of the signs.
Do they substitute sun shades?
Although Acuvue Oasys with Transitions lenses attain their darkest shade in sunny circumstances, they don’t seem to be a alternative for sun shades. Whereas the lenses do block UV radiation, sun shades are necessary as a result of they assist defend your total eye and the pores and skin round it from UV injury that may trigger cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal sunburn and pores and skin most cancers.
Additionally they do not get as darkish as sun shades and do not provide polarization, which considerably reduces glare. In case you already put on sun shades usually, these contacts will provide help to squint much less in case you step outdoors on a vibrant day with out them. However you will nonetheless wish to use sun shades to dam extra mild so it is simpler to see. Plus, in case your sun shades block UV rays (which they need to!) the contacts will not attain their full darkness, which minimizes the “alien” look.
Regardless in case you put on sun shades every day or not, you must know that, identical to Transition lenses in eyeglasses, these contacts will not get darker whenever you’re driving as a result of automobile windshields block the UV rays from the solar that trigger the lenses to react.
After taking them out every evening, the contacts nonetheless have a faint darkish hue.
There are a number of conditions the place I do really feel like these contacts are a greater different to sun shades. First is the golden hour, simply earlier than the solar units, when sporting sun shades makes your imaginative and prescient too darkish, but it surely’s nonetheless too vibrant to not put on them in any respect. The identical goes for overcast, foggy mornings, that are extraordinarily widespread in San Francisco the place I dwell, work and examined the lenses. With an overcast sky, the filtered daylight is vibrant sufficient to hassle my eyes, but when I placed on sun shades my imaginative and prescient appears too darkish.
How are you going to attempt them?
In case you do not already put on contacts, your first step is to get an eye fixed examination to get a contact lens prescription. If you have already got a legitimate prescription, ask your physician to get a trial pair of the Acuvue Oasys with Transitions, which needs to be free. You can too search on Acuvue’s web site to seek out docs in your space that have already got the Transitions lenses accessible to attempt.
For this story, I referred to as my physician’s workplace (which additionally sells contacts and glasses onsite) they usually ordered me a free trial pair. I picked them up and was informed if I preferred the lenses and needed to modify to them, my physician might write me a prescription for these particular lenses. Then I might purchase full packing containers, both there or anyplace else that sells contacts.
After all, each physician’s workplace or optometry clinic would possibly deal with this otherwise. I had simply gotten an eye fixed examination and a brand new prescription solely a few months earlier than this experiment, so the method was painless.
Are they costlier than different contacts?
Not essentially. Contacts differ wildly in worth relying on the model and the place you purchase them. Acuvue’s rep informed me that every physician, optical retailer or on-line imaginative and prescient shops units costs for the contacts they promote, so there isn’t any one set worth.
The most typical worth I can discover for a field of six Acuvue Oasys with Transitions lenses is $55 (or $9 per lens), however you could find them for below $50 at varied on-line optical shops.
Acuvue Transitions contacts are available a field of 6, and the worth is round $50 per field on-line.
I at the moment put on Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear Plus lenses, that are at the moment solely bought in a 12 or 24 pack. Twelve-pack packing containers on-line are priced round $35 to $70, relying on the retailer. All of those costs are out-of-pocket, with out insurance coverage.
In case you’re actually eager to put on Acuvue Oasys with Transitions, crunch the numbers and see how their value compares to what you at the moment put on. Since I can get a 12-pack of my present contacts for $34 ($2.83 per lens), I might save rather a lot by not making the change.
So, will I preserve sporting them?
Like my different Acuvue lenses, these Oasys with Transitions are supposed to be worn every day for 2 weeks earlier than you toss them for one more pair. Through the two weeks I examined these lenses, I felt conflicted.
I used to be blown away by how properly they labored — my light-sensitive eyes felt much less strained and I wasn’t as bothered by vibrant mild. However, I used to be additionally discouraged by my associates’ and colleagues’ response to how the complete darkened lenses seemed in my eyes (after I purposely wore them outdoors with out sun shades). I can solely be referred to as a creepy alien so many occasions earlier than the remark begins to sting.
On the final day of sporting the Transition lenses, I had concluded they weren’t helpful sufficient for me to make use of them going ahead. That’s, till the subsequent day.
I popped in a contemporary pair of my traditional contacts and headed out the door. As I walked in the direction of my bus cease, I shortly realized how a lot the Transition lenses helped my eyes modify to daylight, particularly on a foggy morning. And after I acquired to my workplace — in sunny downtown SF — the daylight bouncing off the buildings and thru the large window subsequent to my desk was extra blinding and fewer tolerable than it had been with the Transitions lenses. Even watching a pc display screen, which is hard on my eyes and offers me occasional bouts of blurry imaginative and prescient, was a bit higher with the Transitions contacts.
As I write this, it has been one week since I ditched the Transitions and I already miss them. A lot so that after I make it by way of my present stash of “common” lenses, I plan to make the change again.