By Hallie Jenks
As someone with high myopia, I love my contacts, I also love transition eyeglasses, so you can only imagine my delight when I first heard about Transition contacts. I’ve worn contacts fairly consistently since I got my first pair about 10 years ago. When I got into optics around two and a half years ago I had heard about the developing new lenses that are Acuvue Oasys Transitions Contacts. I couldn’t believe it! What leaps in technology! So when they were finally released, I asked my doctor to request a pair of trials for me.
I had been using the Biofinity monthly lens for as long as I can remember, so switching to the Acuvue Oasys lens was exciting. They were comfy, vision was clear, and my eyes loved them. The lens has a consistent 15% gray tint to them, which honestly, inside I wasn’t able to tell a visual difference. I would walk outside into the blazing summer sun, and usually by the time I got to my car in the parking lot, I no longer needed to squint. About 60 seconds. I would come in from outside, note that the room was maybe a little darker than usual, but soon forget all about it. About 90 seconds.
How is this possible?! If my contact breaks will I get transition fluid in my eye!? Well, using the same tech that they do for transition eyeglasses, they build the photochromic properties into the lens so even if it tears you’re not going to get anything bad in your eye. They also do better with the heat from your eye, making them transition faster compared to regular eyeglasses.
Of course, with any transitions, they will not work to full capacity while in the car or anywhere you are not in direct sunlight. So if you are wearing a hat or sitting in the shade, they will not get to the full 70% tint. Usually while I drive I would say they are at about 30-50% tint. They are also not a suitable substitute for sunglasses, they only protect where the lens is covering, so the white of your eyes, and the skin around your eyes are still going to be exposed to the UV light.
Something I should mention is that they definitely change color. I will be outside with friends when suddenly they do a full stop and demand, “What is wrong with your eyes? You look like a demon!” As comical as I find this, it is not a common occurrence. I have golden brown eyes so if you are not paying close attention, I would see how it might glaze past you. However, with lighter eye colors like blue or green, people might take more notice. I have also had an experience where I will check my rearview mirror and do a double take because my eyes are a weird color.
My ideal time to use these would be on outings where you might not want to be wearing sunglasses. They are also great for athletics. Don't want to squint into the sun while a ball comes flying at you? Try these out. They’re perfect for any field or court game. They’re also fantastic if, like me, you have light sensitivity. After my initial trial run, I went back to my old contacts, I definitely noticed a difference, especially while driving. I was squinting more, everything was so bright. Were the lights in here always this annoying? That’s not to say they make you feel like you’re in a cave. Far from it. For me it was more like I lost the urge to squint and reach for my sunglasses at every opportunity.
Sounds like fun right? If you already use the Acuvue Oasys lens, all you have to do is ask the doctor to add transitions to your prescription. As of right now the lenses are still only available in spherical prescriptions so if you have a higher Astigmatism you might have to wait. They are also currently working on making them in the daily lenses, so people with allergies can also enjoy them soon.