The World of Replacement Lenses

Everything you need to know about online lens replacement for prescription glasses.

Did you know if you love your frames, you can keep them and only replace the lenses?

This infographic is full of statistics about lens replacement for glasses.

You'll also find lots of details about:

  • Common types of damage to glasses that can be remedied by replacing the lenses.
  • Different types of lenses that you can replace online, like single vision, progressive, multifocal, high-index, and non-prescription.
  • Lens upgrades, like tinted or colored lenses, and protective coatings.
  • How to reduce glare and eye strain with photochromic or polarized lenses.

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The World of Replacement Lenses

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How many US Adults wear glasses or prescription eyewear?

204.1 million U.S. adults, or 79%, use some form of vision correction, including glasses, prescription sunglasses, reading glasses, or contact lenses.

What are common reasons to replace lenses in glasses?

Most people who wear glasses need a replacements every 1-3 years. Prescription lenses need to be replaced for a number of reasons:

  • Scratches: Scratched lenses make it difficult to see clearly and they're not so aesthetically pleasing.
  • Breaks: Lenses crack or break after your glasses are dropped or fall off
  • Wear & Tear: Your lenses may stop securely fitting in the frames from normal everyday use
  • Vision Changes: Aging or deteriorating eye health can lead to changes in vision over time, which require a new prescription and set of lenses

Also, often your frames will outlive the lenses. On that note, you might consider replacement lenses if:

  • Your favorite style of frames isn’t available from retailers
  • You prefer antique or vintage frames, but need modern lenses
  • You like you current frames and don’t want to change them
  • You want an affordable alternative to buying new glasses
  • You keep multiple pairs or styles of glasses to choose from

Why choose online lens replacement?

  1. Convenience: Replacing lenses online can be done from the comfort of your home. Plus, you'll get to keep your frames, which goes a long way if you have a pair of frames you love.
  2. Speed: Online orders for lenses can be processed and shipped quickly. At LensFactory, we can usually complete a replacement and have your glasses back to you in 7-10 days. Glass and more complex lens requests take a bit longer.
  3. Cost: You'll often pay much lower prices to replace your lenses online versus taking a trip to the optometrist. Savings can be as much as 75% compared to brick-and-mortar retail.
  4. Variety: Online lens replacement companies typically have a lot of lenses to choose from, including lens upgrades like colored lenses (tints), different coatings for improved vision, and sunglasses lenses.
  5. New Lens Tech: Replacing your lenses means you can easily upgrade to the latest and greatest in lens technology. So, your vision is always the clearest it can be.

What are the types of lenses and how do they support different vision needs?

The main types of lenses are: single vision, multifocal, progressive, high-index,

What are the different types of lens materials?

When choosing replacement lenses, you can take your pick of different lens materials. Your choice can impact both vision clarity and durability.

The most common lens materials offered today are plastic, polycarbonate, and glass.

  • Plastic Lenses: Most affordable lens option and offer high optical clarity
  • Polycarbonate Lenses: Shatterproof and impact resistant, lightweight, and naturally 100% UV blocking. However, they're prone to scratching.
  • Glass Lenses: Naturally scratch-resistant and have the highest optical clarity of any lens material. On the other hand, they can be heavy and uncomfortable, and they're of course less resistant to impact. So, glass lenses are usually best for light activities, like reading or watching TV.

What lens upgrades exist and what are their benefits?

There are lots of ways to upgrade your lenses for increased clarity and reduced eye strain. Or maybe you just like the aesthetic look of different colored lenses. We can do that, too!

The most common lens coatings available are:

  • Anti-scratch resistance: Adds more durability to polycarbonate and high-index lenses
  • UV protection: Protects against sunlight that can lead to cataracts and retinal damage
  • Anti-reflection: Reduces glare from surfaces and screens, which reduces eye strain
  • Blue Blocking Lenses: Reduce blue wavelength light, which may affect your mood and sleep
  • Anti-fog: Prevents fogging due to temperature changes, wearing a mask, or for athletes
  • Tinted Lenses: Colored lenses aren’t just for show, many wearers report vision benefits, too. Some people with dyslexia have even reported fewer challenges when wearing tinted lenses.
    • Yellow/Orange: Enhance contrast in low-light conditions, such as night driving
    • Brown: Reduce eye strain for those with near-sightedness in bright light
    • Gray: Reduce fatigue and make good all-purpose sunglasses
    • Blue/Purple: Enhance vision in foggy weather and protect against highly reflective surfaces
    • Pink/Rose: Enhance depth perception and detail, may reduce migraines

Other lens options include:

  • Polarized Lenses scatter light rays to reduce the intensity of sunlight and reflections. They offer UV protection and reduced glare, reflection, and eyestrain. However, there's a tradeoff -- they're not compatible with LCD screens, some windshields, or night driving.
    • Offer UV protection
    • Reduce glare, reflection, and eyestrain
    • Not compatible with LCD screens, some windshields, or night-driving
  • Transitions® or Photochromic Lenses are clear lenses that darken when exposed to UV rays, so you can combine one pair of glasses for indoor and outdoor use. On the flip side, there is a bit of lag time to adjust to photochromic lenses if you've never worn them before.
  • Sunglasses: Sunglasses lenses can be added to any frames, with or without a prescription

How long does online lens replacement take?

At LensFactory, lenses can be replaced in as little as 5 days. Shipping your frames to our lab takes 1-3 days, your new lenses are made and placed in your frames in 3-5 days on average (plastic or polycarbonate), and finally, we ship them back to you in 1-3 days.

Glass lenses and complex requests can take longer, of course, but we understand the importance of getting your glasses back to you promptly.

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