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Glasses Lens Replacement: New Lenses for old Frames

I am Harsh, a laboratory technician and eyewear expert with more than 23 years of experience in the eyeglasses industry.


For some people, buying a new pair of eyeglasses can seem like an unreasonable expense especially when your current frame is your favourite accessory in the wardrobe.

But, there are times when you’ll find yourself in the need of a new pair of lenses. For instance, if your current lenses are deeply scratched or in case your eye prescription changes.

You can replace your lenses with a new pair and keep your current frames. This process is known as reglazing. This way, you’ll not be parting with your frame and it won’t leave your wallet empty.

However, there are things you should know about replacing your optical lenses.

Why replace only the lenses?

If you’re considering replacing the lenses only, you must first have an eye test to make sure you have the latest and updated prescription.

There are a lot of reasons why people might want to change only the lenses. Maybe they favour their current frame style which is not available in the market right now. Or maybe the frame was a gift from a special someone and thus has a sentimental value.

These are the instances where your lenses remain of no use to you:

  • Your prescription changes
  • The lenses become scratched after a fall
  • The lenses are damaged or broken

Before you move forward and reglaze glasses, make sure your frame is strong enough to go through the reglazing process. If it’s not, I’ll suggest getting a new pair of glasses instead of just the lenses.

When to consider reglazing glasses?

The following scenarios make for the perfect opportunity to reglaze your glasses and get new lenses for your existing frame.

Lens damage - If your lenses are damaged or scratched, it can be disturbing for your vision. It will also weaken the performance of your lenses the longer you wait to get new ones. Damaged lenses can be replaced with new ones that have your latest prescription and are customised as per your vision requirement.

Outdated prescription - You should be getting your eyesight checked every two years so that regular checkups can keep you up to date with your changing prescription. If there’s only a minor change in your prescription, you can simply change the lenses and save yourself from the cost of new glasses.

New lens coatings - Maybe you want an anti-glare or blue light coating for your glasses. But sadly, these coatings can only be added at the time of manufacturing the lenses. So, the only option left with you is to get a new pair of lenses. With glasses lens replacement, you can add features to your glasses that were missing before.

Get the most of your glasses - If your frame is in good condition, why do away with the whole thing. Glasses are a considered purchase and people want them to be usable for as long as possible.

Benefits of reglazing your glasses

Reglazing glasses is a cost-saving process. But there are other reasons to consider reglazing glasses.

Save time

Replacing just the lenses is much easier and quicker than finding new glasses. The frame you want should be in stock for your glasses to be made quickly. Trendy styles such as geometric or transparent frame glasses are barely in stock. But when you reglaze your specs, you already have your frame and only want new lenses to fit into it.

Save cost

The cost of new lenses is much less than the cost of a pair of eyeglasses. You’ll save on the manufacturing and transportation of the frames which will further reduce the cost. Based on the type of lenses you need, the cost of reglazing can vary. But you still won’t have to shell out as much as you would for new glasses.

Save environment

Although you don’t change your glasses every other day, working frames that can’t be recycled impact the environment and add to the waste. By using your frame for as long as possible, you can reduce adding to the landfill.

How reglazing works?

Reglazing can seem a little complicated to some people. Here’s how the process works.

Choose frame options

First, you need to give some information about your frame - whether it’s full-rimmed, half-rim or rimless. The retailer may also ask you for information such as the brand or the model of the frame. You’ll then need to choose between single vision or varifocal lenses as per your vision requirement.

Prescription details

You now need to provide the retailer with your latest prescription and other information such as your pupillary distance (PD) so the optical centres of the lenses can be placed right in front of your pupils.

You’ll also have to choose among the various lens coatings that improve the performance of your glasses and amplify your vision.


Once you’ve selected the lenses and the retailer has fit in your prescription, you have to make the payment. Send your frame so the retailer can fit new lenses into it and send it back to you.

How much does reglazing your glasses cost?

Figuring out the exact number can be tricky. You can look up online or investigate the prices in your area to figure out a rough estimate.

The cost of the process will vary based on the type of lenses you choose and whether or not you’ve selected any lens coating.

As long as you don’t have a complex prescription that needs you to go for high-index lenses or load your glasses with protective coatings, you’ll still be paying less than a new pair of glasses.

It’s important to assess the condition of your frame before you put it up for reglazing. If your frame is too old, it won’t withstand the process and may get damaged. Metal or titanium frames are the best candidates for reglazing as they are malleable and strong.

If you want to keep your old frames but can’t bear using your old prescription, reglazing is the best option. You’ll get new lenses for your glasses with an updated prescription which you can use as long as the prescription lasts.

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