How Quickly Do Plastic Sunglass Lenses Fade?

Plastic sunglasses seem like a bargain, but how quickly do they fade? A transition lens, which is also called photo chromic, are made to fade to a darker color when they enter sunlight. This type of lens is used to protect the eyes from UV light that can damage them. There is a risk of getting cataracts and other problems with vision as we begin to age if our eyes aren’t protected. There are two types of lenses, glass and plastic. Plastic seems to be the main type that most have in their sunglasses. If the lenses are transition lenses, then they will get darker almost immediately. These are usually what people order for their regular glasses so they will change when stepping outside in the sunlight. Some also purchase prescription sunglasses and like most of us, we had to the mall and buy our sunglasses off the rack.

Cheap or expensive is the first thing on a person’s mind when they start looking at the numerous types of sunglasses for sale. Even if you are purchasing sunglasses for a child or young adult, make sure they have some sort of UV protection, otherwise they aren’t protecting from the sun’s rays and are basically a waste of money. Still, we have to wonder how long is that pair of sunglasses going to last? Will the lenses last long enough to enjoy the summer instead of fading and losing their protection?

More than likely, the sunglass frames or ear piece will wear out before the lens actually does. A pair of regular glasses with plastic lenses, which have been tinted with transition, can last many years.  A dye is used for the photo chromic lenses and as the years have passed, there have been leaps and bounds in making those lenses fade faster.  Back in the 1960’s, glass lenses were used and they used to fade part way and stop.  There is one drawback to both types of sunglasses, whether using glass or plastic that once you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, the windshield blocks the ability for the sunglasses to change.  So a pair of driving glasses is usually used, or regular sunglasses right off the rack as long as they still have UV protection. 

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