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How Long Do Prescription Glasses Usually Last?

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The Lifespan of Eyeglasses

Modern prescription lenses are more durable than ever. Once they were made of shatter-vulnerable glass, but today eyeglass lenses are made of high-tech plastics. With lenses optimized to resist damage, you can enjoy your lenses with less worry. 

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, even your favourite pair of glasses. You may not need to update your prescription after every eye exam, but can you predict when you need a replacement?

Reasons to Replace Your Prescription Lenses

There are 2 main reasons your prescription lenses may need replacing. First, the lenses or frames may be damaged or flawed. Second, your prescription changes. 

In both cases, some factors are out of your control. For example, even if you embrace healthy habits to protect your sight and lenses, you’ll eventually need new prescription lenses. On average, lenses last 1–3 years.

A woman wearing glasses and smiling

Everyday Frame & Lens Damage

Wear over time can create flaws in the frame and lens. It may be the result of an accident or environmental damage. Even the way you clean your glasses can be harmful to your lenses. When it’s time to wipe away the dirt and fingerprints, it’s crucial to use gentle cloth materials and avoid harsh chemicals.

Some lens scratches and flaws are visible, while others may be barely noticeable—except when they affect your vision. It can be unpredictable how long your lenses will stay completely scratch-free. Using your scratched or flawed lenses will not affect your vision long-term, but you can experience vision difficulties, including:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision (one or both eyes)

Drop Damage

Whether you consider yourself clumsy or well-coordinated, you’ve probably dropped a few things. For example, you may fumble placing your eyeglasses on the nightstand, or your loose frames may slip off your face. Unfortunately, there’s no 5-second rule with glasses.

When you pick up your dropped eyeglasses, you may not see any cracks, scratches, or flaws. However, there can be damage too small to view with the naked eye. Yet, these tiny flaws can change the effectiveness of your frames and lenses.

It doesn’t matter if you drop your lenses a day, a week, or a year after you get them. Drop damage can compromise the integrity of your lenses. 

Frame & Lens Fit

Your glasses transform your vision and appearance, so picking the right glasses is a balance of fashion and quality. Your frames hold your lenses, but they also protect them. If you have poorly fitted lenses or lenses too thick for your frames, your lenses are more vulnerable to damage.

Higher prescriptions require thicker lenses. However, hi-index lenses can make higher prescription lenses thinner and lighter. You can also ask for a scratch-resistant lens coating. Although no glass is completely damage-proof, the coating can make your lenses less vulnerable to everyday mishaps, from drops to rough cleanings. 

When you buy your next pair, talk to our optometrists about protecting your lenses. There are multiple options for lens coating to improve your lens’s function, comfort, and endurance.

Prescription Changes

Your eyes are constantly changing, just like you. Changes can occur because of aging, eye conditions, or environmental circumstances. Eye exams are crucial for monitoring your eye health and treating vision conditions. Early treatment can help prevent dramatic prescription changes.

Still, some changes happen slowly, and others occur rapidly. As a result, your prescription may change between eye care appointments. When the big changes happen, you know you need an updated prescription. 

But smaller changes can sometimes be a fine line. It may not be enough for a prescription change, but it may complicate everyday tasks. An optometrist can discuss the changes and assess if you’ve experienced eye discomfort or visual symptoms.

It can be challenging to detect symptoms of minimal vision changes. However, there are some symptoms indicating your prescription is wrong:

  • Eyestrain 
  • Burning or itchy eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain

Computer Lenses

Internet use has significantly increased in recent years. We’re spending more time than ever staring at digital screens for work and leisure. As a result, more people are experiencing digital eye strain from long hours looking at computers, phones, and tablets. Digital eye strain can cause visual symptoms, including blurry vision or eye strain, even for people without vision conditions.

Your prescription may be accurate for vision correction but unsuitable for computer use. Instead of replacing your up-to-date glasses, you may need a separate pair for close-up tasks.

Computer glasses are designed for digital screens. The lenses are a type of task-specific lens customized for close-up work. Computer glasses can be prescription lenses for wearers with vision conditions or non-prescription for those wearing eyeglasses to relieve digital eye strain.

Visit Us for Quality Lenses

Advance Eye Care has over 2,000 frames in-store and offers the most advanced technologies available in prescription lenses. When it’s time to update your prescription lenses, we can help you choose frames you’ll love.Talk to our team about caring for your lenses to help them last. Book an appointment today!

Written by Joey Postma

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