Buying Eyeglasses

Problems with your new glasses? How to solve them.

Unhappy woman with eyeglasses
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Whether you choose to buy eyeglasses online or you buy your glasses in person at an optical store or from your eye doctor, sometimes problems can occur with your glasses after you purchase them.

Here are a few tips to help you resolve eyeglass problems to your satisfaction.

Eyeglass replacement and refund policies

The best way to insure your happiness with your eyeglasses is to purchase them from a reputable retailer who fully guarantees your satisfaction with a best-in-class replacement or refund policy.

A good policy will replace the glasses or fully refund your purchase price if the problem is related to a defect in materials or an eyeglass lens prescription that wasn't made properly.

Broken frames

If your eyeglasses break because of a defect, you should have no trouble getting your money back.

Be aware that eyeglass replacement and refund policies do NOT cover damage to eyeglasses caused by misuse or abuse of the glasses.

If you feel the glasses weren't made correctly, it's a good idea to take the glasses to the eye doctor who prescribed your lenses. Your doctor will be able to check the lenses to make sure they were made correctly. Generally, there is no charge for this service.

If the lenses were made correctly and do not appear to be defective, your eye doctor may choose to examine your eyes and recheck your vision to see if any eye problems have developed since your last exam.

If your lenses were made incorrectly or your eye doctor changes your prescription, most optical stores will remake the lenses for you at no charge, with some provisions (for example, many policies will cover only one prescription change within a specified period of time).

Woman unhappy with glasses

Don't like the look of your new glasses? Whether you can return them depends on where you bought them.

Specific eyeglass problems and solutions

Here are a few common problems with new eyeglasses and what you can do about them:

Reflections

If you notice annoying reflections in your lenses, ask your optician to replace the lenses with ones that include anti-reflective coating. Though you will have to pay extra for the anti-reflective (AR) coating, it will eliminate reflections that cause eye strain, interfere with night vision, impede eye contact and simply make your glasses less attractive.

Trouble adapting to progressive lenses

If your new glasses have progressive lenses and you have trouble adapting to them, your optician may be able to exchange them for lenses with a different multifocal design. If you choose to have your progressives lenses replaced with lower-priced bifocal or single vision lenses, be aware you might not be refunded the difference in cost, depending on the store's policies.

Sensitivity to light

If you have trouble with sensitivity to light outdoors when wearing your new glasses and you don't want to invest in a separate pair of prescription sunglasses, ask your optician about upgrading to photochromic lenses that darken automatically in sunlight.

Blurry vision in traffic

Yikes! If you can't see clearly when driving with your new glasses, return to your optician or eye doctor for a recheck of the lenses and prescription.

What if you just don't like your new glasses?

Some optical stores and online sellers guarantee your satisfaction with your eyeglasses — even if you simply don't like them — by offering a refund or a store credit for the amount you paid for them.

If so, you usually must return the glasses within a specified period of time (for example, within 30 days of purchase).

Because glasses are a significant investment, it's wise to carefully review the replacement and refund policies of the store or website you choose to shop at before you buy.

Some retailers offer replacements and refunds at no additional charge; others require you to pay a warranty fee to be eligible for these customer satisfaction measures.

Also, some policies may require a small fee, or "co-payment," to replace eyeglass frames or lenses.

Page updated June 2019

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