If you've recently had your eyes tested and need a new lens prescription, you may be wondering if you can opt to have new lenses fitted to your existing frames rather than buying a whole new set of glasses. This may suit you if you really like your current frames and can't find a new pair in a similar style. Alternatively, you may simply want to save money by buying new lenses but not new frames.
In some cases, your optometrist may be happy to fit new lenses in your frames; sometimes, you may be advised not to do this. Your initial reaction may be that your optometrist simply doesn't want to lose out on the money you'd pay for new frames; however, there are sometimes valid reasons why this won't work.
How Old Are Your Frames?
If you're wearing relatively new frames, you may stand a better chance of getting them reglazed safely. Over time, frames may become less robust. Dropping your glasses a few times over the years may compromise their strength and integrity, and the materials they are made of may become weaker over the years.
So, you may find that your optometrist is willing to reglaze if you've only had your frames for a year or two but is less happy about the process if you've had the frames for years. Even if you feel that your current frames fit fine and don't have any obvious signs of damage, you also need to look for signs that make reglazing less of a viable option.
How Do Your Frames Look?
It's a good idea to take a long hard look at your frames before you ask to have them reglazed. It's important to remember that putting new lenses into old frames typically involves some manipulation and the application of heat to fit the lenses to the frames. If your glasses aren't in a good condition, they may break during the reglazing process.
While some signs of damage, such as cracks, may be obvious, you also need to look out for less obvious signs of damage. For example, you should check for the following issues.
- If plastic frames have changed colour, light exposure may have made them more brittle and less strong than they used to be.
- While metal frames may be stronger than plastic frames, they can also be compromised by rust or damaged or missing parts such as screws.
In both cases, these problems may cause the frames to break when new lenses are fitted or the frames may not last as long as they should once you start wearing them.
Are You Changing to a New Type of Lens?
If you've decided to switch to a different type of lens – say, from a single vision lens to a varifocal, your current frames may not be suitable for your new lenses, even if the frames are in perfect condition. In some cases, your frames may not be wide or strong enough to hold your new lenses.
While you may be able to insist on a reglaze against your optometrist's advice, it's important to remember that this may not be the best long-term option. You may have to agree to a waiver if your optometrist doesn't agree with a reglaze, leaving you responsible for any problems that may happen down the line.