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Many online retailers and some optometrists offer eyeglass lens replacement online. This service is an easy alternative to visiting an optometrist when someone has lost or damaged a lens or has a new prescription and wants to keep their current frame.

This article explores when people might need to replace their spectacle lenses. It also discusses vision checks and lists some websites that offer online lens replacement services.

While some people regularly replace their spectacle frames to keep up with fashion trends, others are happy with their frames, preferring only to replace the lenses.

Individuals may do this because they prefer the style or because the frames they currently use are no longer available at retail.

In some cases, frames outlive lenses. This can happen when:

  • A person’s prescription changes.
  • Glasses are damaged after being dropped or scratched.
  • Lenses break or no longer fit properly in the frame.

Some signs that it may be time to replace a person’s eyeglass lenses include:

  • Damaged glasses: 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 that their vision becomes less clear as they get older, even after years of a stable prescription. In this case, they will need to have an eye exam.
  • Years since the last eye exam: If it has been several years since a person had an eye exam and is not sure if they still have the same prescription, it may be time for a new eye exam. Health experts recommend getting tested 1 to 2 years, depending on a person’s age and risk factors.

When a prescription is no longer valid or effective, it can cause eye strain and make daily tasks more difficult.

Some people may develop another eye strain symptoms, comprising:

Also, since lenses are an essential part of eyeglasses, if they break or come out of the frame due to damage, it creates a safety risk. Years of wear and tear can prevent a person from seeing clearly.

While a person can have their lenses replaced online without an appointment, eye checks aren’t 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 eyesight, such as glaucoma. An eye exam can also detect the first signs of diabetes, autoimmune disease, and even cancer.

The AOA also states that online applications 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 full eye exam.

Federal law requires prescribers to provide a copy of prescription lenses after an eye exam, although state laws that govern the length of time prescriptions vary.

So even though a person can get their prescription to use with an online lens supplier, it may not be valid if the prescription is very old.

To receive replacement prescription lenses online, a person may consider any of the options below.

Online vision applications

There are several apps that can test a person’s eyesight at home. An optometrist or ophthalmologist reviews the test and then creates a prescription that an individual can use at most online eyeglass retailers.

According to American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), it is safe to use these apps for glasses only, not for contact lenses.

  • Verana Health: Offers a free eye exam via an app without the need for special equipment. It can test a person’s eyesight right away and allows them to monitor changes in their vision over time.
  • EyeQue: Offers an app to assess vision when a person uses a portable device that users need to purchase 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 suggest new prescriptions that a person can use on most retailer websites.


With many options for people who want to replace their lenses but not their frames, Lensabl offers a wide range of lenses.

Prescription choices include single, progressive, bifocal vision.

Types of glasses include:

  • clear
  • blue light blocking
  • Sun
  • Transitions Light smart glasses

Lens materials available to choose from include:

  • standard plastic CR39 standard
  • Unbreakable polycarbonate lenses
  • Trivex – the lighter version of polycarbonate lenses
  • thinner lenses for higher prescriptions

In addition, a person can order water repellent, scratch and stain resistant, UV and anti fog coatings.

Individuals send their frames directly to Lensabl, and the company installs the new lenses in the frames and returns them in a few days.

A person must already have a valid prescription to use Lensabl, but they have the option of submitting a prescription after completing their order. The company states that it will send an email and request this information.

Lensabl also provides printable labels and the use of their own packaging for added convenience.


39DollarGlasses offers a wide range of products for lenses only.

The company sells a choice of prescription types, including single vision, bifocal and progressive options. Single vision lenses are at no additional cost, but there is an additional charge for bifocal and progressive lenses.

A person can also choose clear, solar, or transitional lenses, each with varying options, such as:

  • Lightweight and slim UltimateView
  • Ultra-slim UltimateView
  • Ultra-thin tinted UltimateView
  • Ultra-slim UltimateView
  • NuPolar polarized
  • Signature GEN8 Transitions

They can also include Crizal Prevencia enhanced anti-glare and anti-glare coatings.

A person must either enter their prescription when ordering, or have a valid prescription on file for 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 adjustment.


Eyeglasses.com offers replacement lenses for a person’s current frames.

Lens options available include:

  • single vision
  • bifocal
  • readers
  • progressive
  • trifocal
  • the computer

The lens material includes:

  • standard plastic CR39
  • very slim
  • glass
  • polycarbonate
  • Trivex

A person can also order anti-reflective, anti-reflective, smudge-proof and dust-proof coating options. Some lenses are also covered by a 1 to 2 year anti-scratch warranty.

Additionally, if a person has RayBan frames, Eyeglasses.com offers official and certified RayBan lenses.

Individuals should send their frames and current prescription to the company. Otherwise, Eyeglasses.com can read and duplicate a person’s current glasses.

The company will then install the lenses and return them free of charge.

Optometrist or ophthalmologist

In some cases, if a person’s prescription has expired, their ophthalmologist may be able to perform a telehealth eye exam if they prefer not to come to the office.

Eyeglass lens replacement services can be much more affordable than frame replacement, and many websites offer options for new lenses without the need to see a doctor or optometrist.

However, having regular eye exams is essential, so a person should see an ophthalmologist regularly to help ensure optimal vision and eye health.

Medical News Today makes no warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and does not endorse any such application. The medical accuracy of these applications has not been evaluated by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise noted.

About Marion Alexander

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