Sunglass Tragedy with a Happy Ending

Replacement lenses for sunglasses

Okay, so I broke my sunglasses AGAIN, but this time the story has a happy ending. I’m a chronic sunglass-breaker. I sit on them, have them dashed to pieces by the contents of my purse, drop them, crunch them, and do every other undesirable thing you could do to break a pair of sunglasses without fail, which is why I usually opt for those cheap-o pairs at the dollar store. I had a wake-up call the other week, though.

So, I’ve been having some eye pain lately that I thought was thanks to my constant blogging and excessive screen-time, and when I brought it up to my optician at my annual exam, she asked me if I wear sunglasses. When I proudly told her that I do, she asked me if I buy polarized glasses, effectively bursting my proud little bubble. My screen-time probably has plenty to do with my eye pain, but so does the amount of UV rays that I let into my eyes.

I guess I missed the boat on the sunglasses for health thing, because more than half of parents make their kids wear them, and 40% of sunglass-wearers in America wear them for health reasons. Anyway, I hauled myself over to the dollar store for polarized glasses and was met with a surprising discovery. The glasses marked polarized were lying. You can tell if you hold them up and tilt them up and down. If nothing changes, you know they aren’t polarized. And these weren’t. Sunglasses should be blocking 98-99% of UV rays, said my optician, and these were not making the cut. So, I made a terrifying decision. I traded in my dollar store faux Wayfarers for some legitimate polarized Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

Fast forward a week to me ready to climb in bed for a week because my poor Wayfarers have a cracked lens, courtesy of my toddler using them for a drum stick while I was making dinner. If you’ve ever had the pain of holding a pair of broken $200 sunglasses in your flour-covered hands and not being able to scream your frustration at the culprit, congratulations on having never known tragedy. I have known tragedy, and it is a dark, dark place.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and it started with me looking for Ray Ban replacement lenses online. They have them, which is cool, but they were way more expensive than I wanted them to be. Turns out, though, that you can get polarized replacement lenses from other sources online much cheaper, and they fit your designer frames! So, I ordered my polarized replacement lenses from another sunglass lens replacement company and I installed the sunglass replacement lenses myself to save a little cash.

Replacing sunglass lenses is actually pretty easy. I soaked my frames in hot, soapy water for about a minute and then got to work extricating the old lenses from my frames. The broken one came out pretty easily for obvious reasons, which is why I gave up pretty quickly on the second lens and broke it with a small hammer. Yes, it hurt my heart. I popped in the polarized replacement lenses, and much to my delight, my glasses were back to being wonderful.There’s a three part moral to this story:

  1. For your eyes’ sake, get yourself some polarized sunglasses.
  2. For your wallet’s sake, replace lenses instead of whole pairs of sunglasses.
  3. For heaven’s sake, buy a hard case for your shades.

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