Do Transition Lenses Wear Out?

Transition lenses are so useful… but do they have an expiration date?

Do Transition Lenses Wear Out?

Transition lenses are extremely popular and an asset to those who need glasses that provide sun protection and clearness indoors. Occasionally people with Transitions will have a problem with the lenses not getting dark enough anymore, and this poses the question: “Do Transition lenses wear out?”

Transition lenses generally last the life of a pair of glasses (or longer), though they do wear out after years of use. Most Transition lenses wear out in about three years, with a yellowish tinge forming in the lenses while clear and a noticeable reduction of the lenses’ darkness in full sunlight.

There are, however, some things to consider when the question, “Do Transition lenses wear out?” comes up. Other factors can make you think they’re worn out, when they aren’t:

  • Transition lenses generally take at least 3 years to wear out.
  • Temperature affects how Transitions change. When they’re hot (like in the summer), the lenses will change slower and won’t get as dark.
  • Transition lenses don’t change behind the windshield of a car.
  • When Transition lenses do wear out, they will take on a yellowish tinge when they’re clear. They will no longer get as dark at that point.
  • Transition lenses don’t get as dark as standard sunglasses.

If you’re thinking about buying Transition lenses, it’s important to consider these factors before making your purchase. Additionally, if you have Transitions that are old enough to be worn out, it’s probably time to get a new prescription anyway!

If you have any questions about Transition lenses or what’s right for you, please give us a call or leave a comment in the comments section below. Transition lenses are some of the most impressive lenses on the market, and millions of happy Transitions wearers come back for a new pair with every prescription.

  1. Derek says:

    Would the effectiveness of transition/photochromatic lenses last longer than two to three years if they were used in a spare pair of glasses, that were stored in a light-proof case, and only taken out that case to be used occasionally?

  2. Sebastian says:

    Do transition lenses wear out just by getting old on a shelf in the optical salon? Asking about cycling dedicated glasses.

  3. Debbie MacLean says:

    I’m on my 3rd transition glasses. I only get 2years before they stop darkening or rather develop stars or strange circle patterns on the lenses. Seems too short a life time!

  4. Dave says:

    Do transition lenses that have stopped darkening still protect the eyes from UV???

    • SanMartin says:

      Hi Dave,

      The best option is to get the lens replaced since the protection will not work as well as before.


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