NOV 07

Do Transition Lenses Wear Out?

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

Do Transition Lenses Wear Out?

Transition Lenses for Prescription GlassesTransition 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. Larry says:

    Michael, I didn’t quite understand what you meant as a method to help maintain your Transitions. Can you explain please? Thanks.

  2. Larry says:

    What is your honest opinion about Transition Gen 8 Signature? I had cataract surgery and only need progressive readers, but thinking about getting these in brown. I find it such a pain to go between no glasses, reading glasses, clear lens, sun glasses. Many years ago, probably 15 at least, I had Transitions, but wasn’t too crazy about them. Never got clear enough. What’s your take on all of this?

    • rxsafety says:


      They are a pretty good product. They get almost clear and get pretty dark. I think i like the xtractive myself but they don’t get as clear they have a hint of color to them. I think its personal preference.

  3. Christine says:

    My photochromic lenses have become patchy with what appears to be holes in the coating thus making the lens uneven when darkened. Is this normal ageing of the photochromic element?
    Thank you

    • rxsafety says:

      Depending on how often and method of cleaning the glasses, overtime the transition feature will work less and less. It should last the life of the glasses which is about 2 years.

  4. Douglas Perrin says:

    If I want a darker lens would I be better off just getting a pair of prescription sunglasses instead of having transitional lenses in my rx glasses?

    • rxsafety says:


      Yes if you want the lenses to get as dark as a pair of sunglasses than your better off just getting a pair of prescription sunglasses. The xtractive transitions get the darkest out of all the transition lenses but there still much lighter than a sunglass lens.

  5. Martin Gibbons says:

    Do Transition lins in Sunglasses (not prescription) also wear out ?
    If so, what is the expected lifespan ?

    • rxsafety says:

      Hi Martin,

      They usually last the life of the glasses, so about 2-3 years. You will notice it happen gradually. Lenses may not get as dark as previous times or they will develop a yellowish hue to the lens.

  6. Jerry Velasquez says:

    I bought transitional lens for the last 5 Years they never last but they always want to charge you to replace them

  7. Barbara says:

    My lenses are not returning to normal after I’ve come back indoors. Can you tell me why

    • jsiddiqui says:

      Hi Barbara.

      I recommend that you go back to where you got the glasses from. They might be defective or have probably worn out.

  8. Mark Richards says:

    My transition plus lenses are only a year old and have deminished in darkness a lot. They would get very dark in the sun when I first got them. I live in Florida and am out in the sun a lot. Can they be recoated or retreated?


  9. Caryll Beck says:

    I have had my transition lenses just over a year and the coating is coming off. It did start before the warranty had expired but I never got around to dealing with it
    How do I remedy this as don’t need a new scrip

    • msatghare says:

      Hi, if you bought your lenses from us, we do not offer warranty on lenses unfortunately. If you bought it from somewhere else, you should take it back to them.

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  11. Michael says:

    Your eyes are a little more sensitive to color than others. But yes there will always be a very light tent color. I also notice it on mine why others dont.

  12. Michael says:

    They last for a very long time. I havent have any issues with mine and some of my pairs are going on 2 years time. But I do what some of my colleague and friends tells me to do is put it in the first on the first day of getting it. I been doing this to all of my transition lens

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