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Scratched Glasses - Can You Still Wear Them?

Eyeglass lenses have become more and more resilient thanks to advancements in lens technology. But even the best glasses may not be match for a drop on concrete, a swipe of a gritty rag or an encounter with a sharp tool.

What to do if there’s a scratch

There are a lot of YouTube videos out there of people using various chemicals and methods to remove dings from their eyeglasses. But your best (and safest) bet is to bring the glasses to the point of purchase to see what can be done. Depending upon your prescription and the level of damage to your lenses, your eye doctor may be able to help you buff out or otherwise repair minor scratches to make your lenses usable. If your eyeglasses came with a scratch warranty, you may be able to have the lenses remade at no cost to you. And if the scratches are severe enough, you should ask your doctor about replacement lenses. (It may be time for your annual checkup and a new prescription, anyway!)

Eyeglass protection

If you’re prone to scratches, choose an eyeglass material or protective coating that can help protect your investment (and keep you scratch free). Polycarbonate lenses, like Crizal lenses, are more scratch resistant than your standard glasses, so they can stand up to rougher conditions.

But that still doesn’t mean you should toss them in a sand-filled beach bag!

Follow these tips to keep your glasses scratch free:

• Protect them when you’re not wearing them. Don’t leave glasses lying around where they can be damaged. That nice case your eye doctor gave you with your new frames is the perfect spot to keep them when you’re not wearing them.

• Clean them often—and carefully. Dust and dirt can gradually cause tiny scratches in the lens surface. You’ll want to clean your glasses regularly. Start by giving your lenses good rinse of water to remove any dust or dirt, and then follow up with a gentle swipe with a non-lint cloth. Never dry rub your dirty lenses—that can help grind the dirt in, which can cause scratches even in lenses that have a scratch-resistant coating.

• Wear protective goggles over your glasses when you’re doing something dangerous. If you’re working with tools or doing other activities that could potentially damage your eyeglasses, wear protective goggles over the glasses to help protect your investment. You can find everything from ski goggles to protective shields for construction workers that are roomy enough to allow for glasses.

While the scratch won’t impact your eye health permanently, if the scratches are severe enough, they can cause eye strain and headaches as your eyes try to compensate for and see around the damage. Even minor scratches can just be annoying as you try to go about your daily life, if they’re right in your line of vision. So if you’ve gotten a ding, you’ll probably want to do something about it.