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How Often Should I Get New Glasses?

When you find the perfect pair of glasses, you can only pray that they last you for a very long time. Most patients believe that as long as you can see well with your glasses, there is nothing to worry about.

However, the fact that you can still see far/near and correctly identify fellow employees does not mean the glasses are still doing a good job. If it has been over two years, you urgently need a new pair.

Unlike a pair of shorts that stop fitting after summer, knowing when to replace your glasses is not as obvious.

Unknown to many, vision changes happen slowly and may only become noticeable at an advanced stage. That is why optometrists recommend updating prescription glasses every one to two years.

Sometimes, you may need to replace your glasses because it has been a while since your last eye exam. Additionally, you may notice that your lenses are too scratched to see clearly.

If not, a few other signs will tell you it is time to get new glasses. Keep scrolling to learn more about these signs. But first, a little information about prescriptions and the effects of using an old one for too long.

How Long Do Prescriptions Last?

Eyewear prescriptions last one or two years, depending on your state. In most cases, your eyesight might not change much, and you might feel there is no need to go for an updated prescription. However, optometrists strongly recommend an up-to-date prescription to help you buy a new pair of glasses.

Typically, the expiration date is always written on the prescription. If you do not find your physical prescription, you should go to the nearest facility where you had a recent eye exam. As a word of caution, most doctors would require you to keep your information on file to monitor your situation.

Can You Get New Eyewear With An Old Prescription?

Many patients believe they can get a new pair of glasses with an old prescription. And it is a worrying trend because getting a new pair with an old prescription is unsafe.

Some people may argue that their eyesight has not changed. However, checking up on any minor change and your general health is essential. Some eye problems do not cause vision problems until they are advanced. However, regular check-ups and annual eye exams prevent serious eye problems.

Side Effects Of Old Prescriptions

It can be challenging to let go of your old glasses. Most people loathe the discomfort of adjusting to new lenses and a frame. But it is necessary even if you feel like your old glasses are serving you well.

The old glasses will not damage your eyes. However, with prolonged use, they will result in eye strain that leads to:

  • Headaches
  • Tearing
  • Dizziness
  • Dry eye
  • Problems focusing

Some studies also show that retaining your old glasses can make your vision more challenging to manage and correct.

If you have the correct prescription, blurry vision or squinting to see clearer should never be an issue. Eye experts advise against ignoring even the slightest change in your visual acuity. You should get new glasses when you realize you do not have the same visual clarity as before.

Signs You Need A New Prescription

An expired prescription will reduce your ability to see, leading to discomfort, headaches, and difficulty managing eyesight. If you cannot find the expiration date of your prescription, there are a few signs you can look out for to help you determine if it is time to get new glasses. They include:


Most people discover that they have a refractive error through squinting. When you squint, a concentrated amount of light gets into your eyes which helps with improved vision. Unfortunately, many people with old prescriptions have to squint to see properly.

It helps but should not be how you live life– squinting triggers fatigue and headaches. If you are squinting in your old prescription, make time to see your Optometrist for an updated prescription.

Frequent Headaches

Do you usually experience regular headaches at the end of the day? Chances are that your eyes are straining, triggering frequent headaches. And while it is a common misconception, wearing glasses does not give you a headache as long as you have the right prescription. Regular and recurrent headaches should be enough reason to visit a doctor.

You See Double Objects

When you start seeing two images of one object, know your glass replacement is overdue. When you see double objects, your eyes are not working together to see clearly.

Sudden Light Sensitivity

If you suddenly develop light sensitivity (natural light or light from screens), it may be time to get a new prescription. It could be that you have developed a vision issue that requires medical attention, your prescription is no longer effective at blocking light, or your eyes are overworking.

Faded/Scratched Frames

Besides typical eye symptoms, the status of your frames should tell you it is time to replace them. Whatever the material of your frames, time will show on the surface. You will notice fading, scratches, rust, dirt accumulation, and discoloration on the frames.

If you are not the type to get new lenses on old frames, then these signs tell you to get new glasses. Similarly, if you notice these signs on the lenses, too, get a new pair.

Trouble Cleaning The Lenses

Most prescription lenses come with protective and beneficial coatings. They can make the lenses scratch-resistant, dust repellent, blue-blocking, anti-glare, and photochromic.

These coatings are helpful, but if you keep your prescription for too long, they will deteriorate and leave an uncleanable film. That is probably why you just can’t get your lenses clean again– so it is best to get a new pair.

The Takeaway

Many optometrists recommend going for new prescriptions after a year or two; extending beyond this is never recommended for your eye health. When in doubt, check the above signs to help you determine if you need new glasses.