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A Deeper Dive Into the Technology Behind Acuvue Oasys with Transitions

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Acuvue Oasys contact lenses with Transitions are the first of their kind; offering light-responsive filtering without the use of glasses. This technology is so revolutionary, in fact, that TIME Magazine listed Acuvue Oasys with Transitions as one of the best inventions of 2018.

But of course, with any new technology, consumers are rightfully wary, and these contact lenses are no exception.

As an optometrist, I’m incredibly excited about this technology and think it could do a world of good for patients around the world. That’s why I’ve decided to take a closer look at these lenses, unpack exactly what they do and how they work, and explore the implications they could have for your life.

So let’s start by talking about Transitions technology in general.

What Are Transitions?

Transitions are a type of photochromatic lenses, meaning they develop a darker tint when exposed to specific types and intensities of light. Traditionally, Transition technology has been used exclusively in spectacles. For the most part, these lenses are clear indoors, and darker outside, depending on light conditions.

The point of Transition lenses is to shield your eyes from strain due to changing light conditions and prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes without requiring sunglasses to fit over your spectacles or a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Acuvue Oasys contact lenses with Transitions use this same technology, only with contact lenses, allowing for more versatility and a host of other benefits, which we’ll get to in a few minutes.

How Do They Work?

These lenses are made with photochromic molecules, which change structure when exposed to light. Their structural changes cause the lenses to darken, giving you the ideal amount of light for your situation.

Are They Safe?

All contact lenses present some risk of infection and rare eye issues, which is why it’s so important to take care of your contact lenses. However, beyond the potential risks associated with all contacts, I haven’t seen any information to suggest that Acuvue Oasys with Transitions are unsafe.

Health Canada Approval

The government of Canada categorizes contact lenses as medical devices, meaning they’re highly regulated and must meet a high standard of safety before Health Canada (which is our equivalent of the FDA) approves them. Health Canada uses a combination of pre-market review and ongoing surveillance after contact lenses have hit the market to keep an eye on any potential issues.

In other words: Health Canada is diligent to ensure that all of the contact lenses available in Canada are safe, effective, and well-made.

Do They Protect Against UV Rays?

UV rays can be harmful to your health, including your eye health. In fact, excessive UV exposure can lead to eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

The photochromic molecules used in most light-reactive lenses are triggered by UV light, blocking 100% of UVB radiation from penetrating your eyes.

What About Blue Light?

One of the biggest threats to our vision today is blue light, which is a specific frequency of UV light emitted from most digital displays, including phones, computers, and tablets. Because blue light scatters naturally, it is difficult for the eye to focus. As a result, the eye tires very easily when it takes in a lot of blue light.

Beyond that, there is research to suggest that overexposure to blue light could lead to trouble sleeping, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.

Acuvue Oasys with Transitions includes technology to block UV light, including blue light. As a result, these lenses can help protect your eyes from the stress of digital eye strain and may reduce your risk of developing serious eye diseases like macular degeneration.

The Pros & Cons of Acuvue Oasys With Transitions

Transitions technology is incredibly advanced, and now that it’s available in contact lens form, it can revolutionize the eye care industry. But Transitions may not be the best option for everyone. Let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks of Acuvue Oasys with Transitions.

The Benefits

Faster Transition Time

Typically, Transitions take nearly 10 minutes to fully darken and up to 5 minutes to fully clear. Acuvue Oasys with Transitions darken in less than a minute and fade back to clear within approximately 90 seconds.

Reduces Eye Strain

94% of us employ some kind of trick to help our eyes cope with bright light, such as squinting. And of course, unlimited access to blue light also causes your eyes to work overhard. By blocking out blue light and managing visible light both indoors and outdoors, Acuvue Oasys reduces the amount of strain your eyes encounter on a daily basis.

Works on UV Light & Indoor Light

Traditional Transitions lenses filter out UV light, but not indoor light and lights from cars, streetlights, and other sources. Acuvue Oasys with Transitions are unique in that they respond to UV light and indoor light. This makes them an excellent choice to reduce glare while driving at night or prevent strain when entering a particularly bright indoor environment.

Your Eyes Look the Same

If you’ve ever seen Transitions eyeglass lenses, you know that the lenses become visibly dark when they come into contact with light.

The creators of Acuvue Oasys with Transitions specifically designed these lenses to block out 70% of visible light and all UV rays without significant cosmetic changes. The lenses will darken somewhat, but not enough to change the apparent colour of your eyes.

The Drawbacks

They Won’t Replace Your Sunglasses

While the lenses do darken, they do not get dark enough to act as full sunglasses as this would modify the appearance of the wearer’s eye. Beyond that, there is also UV light to consider. The contact lenses protect the parts of your eyes they cover from UV light. However, the lenses do not cover the entire eye, leaving the white of the eye and the skin around the eye vulnerable.

With all of that said, it’s worth noting that Acuvue Oasys with Transitions can be worn under non-prescription sunglasses.

Deciding if Acuvue Oasys With Transitions Are Right for You

Acuvue Oasys contact lenses with Transitions are an incredible innovation within the realm of contact lenses, and they could open up all sorts of lifestyle possibilities.

 As with any contact lens option, there are a number of elements that could impact the success and efficiency of Acuvue Oasys for your unique needs. Be sure to speak to your optometrist and ask them whether these types of lenses are a good option for you.

Written by Dr. Karen Stafford

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