Understanding Factors Influencing Photochromic Lens Adoption

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Data Insights and Industry Trends


When patients embrace photochromic lenses, it’s a win-win scenario. It not only boosts your revenue but also fosters patient loyalty and satisfaction by offering high-quality, versatile eyewear. In a previous article, we discussed the impact of location and seasonality on photochromic lens adoption, helping you benchmark your results against local and seasonal variations.1 In this piece, we delve deeper into the influencers of photochromic lens adoption, specifically examining patient and prescription characteristics. By identifying the most crucial characteristics, we aim to highlight common profiles of patients most likely to adopt photochromic lenses. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your approach to maximize the likelihood of adoption.


To uncover the factors influencing photochromic lens sales, we analyzed over 1.8 million prescription lens transactions from 2022. Our dataset drew from a representative sample of 1,000 eye care provider (ECP) locations across the United States, as part of the GPN dataset. Leveraging AI-driven techniques, including linear regression, logistic regression, and decision trees, we gained valuable insights into the relative importance of various characteristics, such as gender, age, lens type (e.g., progressive, single vision, bi-trifocal), and the use of vision benefits.


Our analysis revealed that the likelihood of purchasing photochromic lenses is primarily influenced by the type of lens. Age emerged as the second most significant predictor of photochromic lens adoption, followed by gender. Surprisingly, the utilization of vision benefits did not exert a significant influence on the results.

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Bi-trifocals (BTF) held the highest share of photochromic lens sales at 41%, a staggering 137% more than single vision (SV) lenses, which accounted for the lowest share at 17%. Additionally, 37% of progressive lens wearers (PAL) opted for photochromic lenses in our sample.

Age played a pivotal role in adoption rates, with 36% of individuals aged 65 and older choosing photochromic lenses—an impressive 102% higher than the 18% adoption rate among those under 40. Furthermore, 28% of individuals aged 40 to 65 embraced photochromic lenses.

Gender disparities were evident as well, with men leading in photochromic adoption at 33%, a 44% higher adoption rate than women at 23%. In cases where gender was unknown, we observed a 31% share of photochromic lens adoption.


Based on our findings, the most likely candidate for photochromic lenses is a male over the age of 65, who wears bi-trifocal lenses. Progressive lens wearers come in as close contenders for photochromic adoption. Individuals between the ages of 40 and 65 also represent a prime demographic for photochromic lenses. Conversely, those least likely to adopt photochromic lenses include single vision lens wearers, individuals under 40 years old, and women.

These profiles can serve as valuable guidelines for your recommendations and serve as confirmation of your success. However, it’s essential to remember that these profiles do not account for personal preferences, lifestyle choices, or financial considerations. Therefore, it remains crucial to educate all patients about the convenience, protection, comfort, and cost-effectiveness of photochromic lenses. Consistently recommending them can enhance photochromic acceptance, even among those less likely to initially consider them.

  1. https://visions.gatewaypn.com/seasonal-and-geographic-influences-on-photochromic-lens-sales/ ↩︎

About Industry Trends

Through robust analysis of anonymized data, we are able to develop insights, profiles, and a deeper understanding of market results and benchmarks.

GPN aggregates millions of transactions from thousands of eyecare providers, and focalCenter performs rigorous analysis for delivering timely and precise micro and macro dashboards with interactive business intelligence to the eyecare industry. Please feel free to contact us for more information on growing your eyecare business with data-driven strategies.

By Ron Krefman, OD

Finding solutions in data science.


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