A few years back I posted my thoughts about photogray and transition lenses... Recently, I went for new glasses, and I'm scratching my head on this one ... here's why...
I drive every day usually from before sunrise to sometimes after dark. I'm a 'commercial' truck driver. I've been wearing (glass) photogray (aka photochromatic) lenses for many many years, and yes, I understand they are heavier on your face and aren't necessarily good in outdoor industrial situations where 'safety glass' is recommended and the rule. The heavier glass lenses are not an issue.
For me personally, the convenience is photogray will change from light to dark in all kinds of bright light and through the windshield, negating the necessity for having to change glasses in midstream and/or having a second pair as sunglasses or having clip on sunglasses.
The early 'Transition' lenses were made of plastic and would change color in bright outdoor sunlight, even with a lined bifocal, but not through the windshield. Today's 'Transition' lenses are made of a polycarbonate, also a plastic, but much stronger and more resistant to scratching and hairline finger cracks found in earlier editions.
My eye care professional suggested they couldn't offer my usual photogray any longer, so, I thought I'd try transition again. I opted for the transition no-line (progressive) lenses, because I couldn't have a lined bifocal in the xtra-active lens. I added anti-glare hoping to eliminate the blur from oncoming headlights and sun glare on windows.
I learned (6/April, 2013), even though transition lenses have made great strides they lack in other areas... Although Transition makes an xtra-active lens that will and does darken through the windshield, BUT you can't have a lined bifocal. Progressive no-line is the only option here.... I was warned no line bifocals would take some getting used to, and I would lose some peripheral vision. I think the wording was 'you will loose some peripheral vision with this lens'. I took that to mean 'some' not one half!
Originally, there was a delay in getting my new glasses. I picked them up 5/April, 2013 with the understanding it would take a 'couple of days' to readjust to the no-line bifocal and not to wear them working, driving, etc., until I was comfortable with them. Okay? That was cool.
I was more concerned with them darkening through the windshield than the no-line aspect. They passed the test of darkening through the windshield... good to go, I thought. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning.
Testing, testing, testing....
That evening, I discovered sitting at my desk, that my arms weren't long enough to reach the keyboard and everything seemed smaller though sharper in image. It also appeared I was reading through a small round circle (kind of like a fisheye lens), there was blurr on either side forcing me to move my head or sit back to be able to read things... not so good. Was that the loss of peripheral vision?
More testing, testing, testing....
The next morning I put on the new glasses to head out and run errands. For safety, I took the old pair with me just in case of. The just in case of happened before I had driven three miles (over to feed Traveler). I didn't have any peripheral (side to side) at all. Again, I felt like I was in a tiny fishbowl; everything to the side was blurred. I didn't have any distance ... maybe give or take 50 to 75 feet. Everything beyond the 75 feet was a blur.
No, no, this is not so good to go!
This just isn't happening, I need way more than that! 3/4 of a mile to 1 mile at least for driving a big rig. I felt like I had blinders on without any peripheral vision. Scary, and I don't have the luxury of sitting at home for two weeks watching TV to re-adjust (as a co-worker suggested it had taken about two weeks to get used to them).
Quick, quick! Change glasses .... ahhh comfort. I can see again. Now what to do? I've spent big bucks to try these new fangled progressive xtra-active lenses and I can't see? Good thing, I have 30 days to return them if I'm not happy with them. I am not happy!
After the usual Saturday morning errands, I took the new glasses back. As it was explained to me when I told them what I was encountering....Transition is made that way. You lose peripheral with the progressive bifocal lens, but what was a shock to me was that you not only lose peripheral you lose 50% of your vision field, almost like driving with blinders on, no side to side at all. Definitely like putting a fisheye lens on a camera.
My 'very' silent thought was .... no wonder so many people have wrecks... perhaps they can't see where they're going if they're wearing Transition Progressive Lenses they haven't adjusted to.
The long and short of the story is; I cancelled the order last week. In an effort not to lose my business, the 'manager' of the store said they would try to get 'the photogray glass' lens made for me. That was a week ago... heard nothing from them, the refund from the 'progressive' lenses has hit my account, and I'm still waiting to find out if I'm going to have glass 'photogray' or will have to go in another direction.