Yes, we get it, you and your designer shades were a match made in heaven. Although you’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort to find the perfect pair, it was totally worth it. They served you well through the years, guarding you against the harmful UV rays, showing you the world in vibrant colours and taking every outfit to the next level.
And then all of a sudden, just when it seemed that this idyllic relationship would last forever, you had your dreams crushed by an awful cracking sound that left your heart and your lenses shattered in pieces. Okay, okay, this may have been a little bit overdramatic, but you surely know that terrible feeling when you have to say goodbye to your favourite pair of sunnies.
But what if you can make your beloved shades as good as new? Can sunglasses lens be replaced? Of course! Don’t throw away your shades just yet, because replacing lenses in existing frames is easier than you think. Keep reading to learn everything there’s to know about relensing glasses and how to choose quality replacement sunglass lenses.
How to Choose Quality Replacement Lenses?
You didn’t ay hundreds of dollars for your designer sunnies just for fashion, right? Once you’ve seen the world through the lenses of premium eyewear brands, it’s hard to let go of that image. To ensure genuine experience after relensing, you need to invest quality sunglass lenses that can perform equally well if not even better.
The first thing to consider when buying replacement lenses is the base material. Usually, high-end sunglasses brands use glass or polycarbonate because of their high optical clarity and strength. Although you can stick to either of these materials, you should also consider sunglass lenses made from high-grade optical polyamide. This material combines the strength of polycarbonate with the optical clarity of glass. It’s super lightweight yet durable and highly resistant to a wide range of chemicals.
Then, you should pay special attention to the UV protection film. Make sure your new lenses come with 100% protection against all UV rays. Look for a label that says 100% protection against UVA & UVB or 100% protection against UV 400.
If you’re an outdoorsy fellow who enjoys water or winter sports, you might want to consider buying polarized replacement lenses. Although the polarization film technology of premium eyewear brands such as Revo, Oakley and Ray-Ban is a well-kept secret, one can never go wrong with Japanese or Italian polarization technology.
Once you get your hands on quality replacement lenses, you’ll be faced with two options. You can either DIY the whole thing or have your sunglasses relensed by a professional. Replacing the lenses yourself isn’t rocket science; you’ll just need a basic sunglass repair kit. However, you’ll need to be very careful not to cause additional damage to the frames or nose pads. If it’s your first time doing it, make sure to follow a tutorial for the exact model.
If this seems like too much of a hassle or you aren’t the dexterous type, it’s best to leave it to the professionals and be done with it faster than you can say, Jack Robinson.
More Than One Reason to Get Replacement Lenses
Even the most expensive sunnies aren’t immune to wear and tear and occasional mishaps. You may have accidentally dropped them, sat on them, scratched them with your keys, left them in your car in the scorching sun, wore them on top of your head or cleaned them with harsh chemicals… All of these things can cause damage to the sunglass lens, sooner or later, one way or another. So, even if your lenses aren’t broken, you might need to get them replaced.
The first signs that you need new sunglass lenses are visible scratches and scuffs on the surface. Although some shades have an extra anti-scratch coating, this protection can’t last forever and it’ll break down over time.
Another sign that your shades need relensing is lens distortion. The easiest way to tell whether your lenses are distorted is to check the reflection on the lens. If the reflected objects jump around or bend at odd angles, those lenses have to go.
The third sign isn’t something you can easily check by yourself because it’s invisible to the naked eye. But if you’ve constantly worn your sunglasses for quite some time now, it might be a good idea to take them to your local retailer for an up-close professional check-up. In most cases, lenses need to be replaced after two years of wearing on the reg.
Although those invisible webs of scuffs may seem like nothing to worry about, they can lead to various eye problems which leads us to the next question.
Why Do You Need to Replace Damaged Lenses?
First things first, it’s better not to wear sunglasses at all than to wear a damaged pair. Damaged designer shades are no different than cheap sunglasses and they can cause various health problems.
Those scratches and scuffs mentioned earlier compromise the UV protection coating and leave your eyes exposed to the dangers of UV rays. When you wear tinted glasses, your pupils dilate which allows for more UV rays to reach the sensitive retina. Apart from causing you momentarily discomfort, this can increase your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and ocular melanoma.
Lens distortion is another thing that can greatly affect your eye health. If you’re looking through distorted lenses, your eyes work twice as hard to compensate for the distortion straining your eye muscles along the way. This can lead to eye fatigue, itchy or watery eyes and headaches.
Although your main concern should always be your eye health, let’s face it, visible marks on lenses are just unsightly. Scratched, chipped or grazed lenses have no place on designer frames. Damaged lenses will ruin your aesthetic and make you look shabby, no matter how stylish your frames are. If serving looks is something you take pride in, then you should definitely consider relensing your sunglasses.
Your sunglasses protect your eyes from the elements, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to return the favour. Educate yourself on how to take better care of your favourite Revos or Ray-Bans to ensure you won’t have to go through the whole relensing thing in the near future. Keep your sunnies in a sturdy case when you’re not wearing them and avoid leaving them in your car for long periods.