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Many online retailers and some optometrists offer online glasses lens replacement. This service is an easy alternative to visiting an optometrist when a person has lost or damaged a lens or has a new prescription and wants to keep their current frames.
This article explores when people might need to replace their glasses lenses. It also discusses vision checks and lists some websites offering lens replacement services online.
While some people regularly replace their eyeglass frames to keep up with fashion trends, others are pleased with their frames, preferring only to replace the lenses.
Individuals might do this because they favor the style or because the frames they currently use are no longer available from retailers.
In some cases, frames outlive the lenses. This can happen when:
- A person’s prescription changes.
- The lenses become damaged after a fall or scratch.
- The lenses break or no longer fit securely into the frame.
Some signs that it may be time to replace the lenses in a person’s eyeglasses include:
- Damaged lenses: When the lenses are visibly scratched or damaged, the damage can make it more difficult to see clearly.
- An individual’s vision changes: Some people notice their vision becomes less sharp as they age, even after years of a stable prescription. In this case, they will need to undergo an eye exam.
- Years since the last eye exam: If it has been several years since a person had an eye exam, and they are not sure whether they still have the same prescription, it may be time for a new exam. Health experts recommend getting checked every 1–2 years, depending on a person’s age and risk factors.
When a prescription is no longer valid or effective, it may cause eye strain and make everyday tasks more difficult.
Some people may develop other eye strain symptoms, including:
- dry eyes
- blurred vision
Additionally, as lenses are an essential part of glasses, if they break or pop out of the frames due to damage, this creates a safety hazard. Years of wear and tear may prevent a person from seeing clearly.
While a person may get their lenses replaced online without an appointment, vision checks are not the only part of eye health.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends annual eye exams to check for a wide range of medical conditions that can affect sight, such as glaucoma. An eye exam may also detect early signs of diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.
The AOA also advises that online apps to assess vision may not reveal a complete picture of a person’s vision and eye health, while they may also provide less accurate results than a comprehensive eye exam.
After an eye exam, federal law requires prescribers to provide a copy of lens prescriptions, although state laws that govern how long prescriptions are valid vary.
So, while a person can obtain their prescription to use with an online lens provider, it might not be valid if the prescription is very old.
To receive replacement prescription lenses online, a person may consider one of the below options.
Online vision apps
Several apps can test a person’s eyesight at home. An optometrist or ophthalmologist reviews the test then creates a prescription for an individual to use at most online glasses retailers.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), it is only safe to use these apps for glasses, not contact lenses.
- Verana Health: Offers a free eye exam via an app without requiring any special equipment. It can test a person’s sight right away and allows them to monitor changes to their vision over time.
- EyeQue: Offers an app to assess vision while a person uses a handheld device that users need to buy separately. People can then order glasses or lenses from the company’s online store or receive a prescription to use with another retailer.
- Lens.com: Uses a website instead of an app to offer new prescriptions that a person can use on most retailer websites.
With plenty of options for people who wish to replace their lenses but not their frames, Lensabl offers a wide range of lenses.
Prescription choices include single vision, progressive, and bifocal.
Lens types include:
- blue-light blocking
- Transitions light intelligent glasses
Available lens materials to choose from include:
- standard CR39 standard plastic
- shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses
- Trivex — the lighter version of polycarbonate lenses
- thinner lenses for higher prescriptions
Additionally, a person can order water-repellent, scratch- and smudge-resistant, UV protection, and anti-fog coatings.
Individuals send their frames directly to Lensabl, and the company installs the new lenses into the frames and sends them back in a few days.
A person must already have a valid prescription to use Lensabl, but they have the option to submit a prescription after completing their order. The company states they will email and request this information.
Lensabl also provides printable labels and the use of their own packaging for convenience.
39DollarGlasses offers a wide range of lens-only products.
The company sells a choice of prescription types, including single vision, bifocal, and progressive options. Single vision lenses are at no extra cost, but there are additional charges for bifocal and progressive.
A person may also select clear, sun, or transition lenses, each with varying options, such as:
- UltimateView light and thin
- UltimateView super-thin
- Tinted UltimateView super-thin
- UltimateView ultra-thin
- NuPolar polarized
- Transitions Signature GEN8
They can also include anti-glare and Crizal Prevencia enhanced anti-glare coatings.
A person must either input their prescription as they are ordering or have a valid prescription on file with the service. Alternatively, they can complete their order without a prescription, but they must send it to the company within 21 days of ordering.
They can then send their frames to the company for lens fitting.
Eyeglasses.com offers replacement lenses for a person’s current frames.
Available lens options include:
- single vision
Lens material includes:
- standard plastic CR39
A person can also order anti-reflective, anti-glare, smudge resistance, and dust-repelling coating options. Some lenses also come with an anti-scratch warranty of 1–2 years.
Additionally, if a person has RayBan frames, Eyeglasses.com offers official and certified RayBan lenses.
Individuals must send their frames and current prescription to the company. Alternatively, Eyeglasses.com can read and duplicate a person’s current lenses.
The company will then install the lenses and ship them back for free.
Optometrist or ophthalmologist
In some cases, if a person’s prescription has expired, their eye doctor may be able to perform a telehealth eye exam if they prefer not to visit the office.
Glasses lens replacement services can be much more affordable than replacing frames, and many websites offer options for new lenses without needing to visit a doctor or optometrist.
However, it is essential to undergo regular eye exams, so a person should regularly consult with an eye doctor to help ensure optimal vision and eye health.
Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.