New life for old glasses

I own a pair of oversized Coach sunglasses that I have had for about seven years. They are GREAT sunglasses, but the lenses had seen better days. These were spendy, so I was more careful than typical. But I am notorious for dropping my glasses and leaving them unprotected in all kinds of spots. I even ran over a pair of glasses once. 

Even though the lenses were scratched in a hundred ways, the frames were like new, so I started looking for a company that replaces lenses. This type of repair used to be impossible. But technology and the internet often make the impossible possible. And I found a company called LensDirect. I was so impressed with their ordering process and customer service. 

Here’s how it worked:

  1. I placed an order online that included describing my frames*, uploading a photo of the frames, and selecting lenses. I opted to send my prescription later.
  2. LensDirect emailed me a prepaid shipping label to ship my frames. 
  3. I was reminded several times by email to send my prescription. It was easy once I made a scan of it. I was able to reply to an email reminder and attach the prescription. 
  4. Then I was directed to an online site to measure my PD using my webcam (PD = pupillary distance, the distance between your pupils. This ensures that you can see correctly out of differently shaped and size lenses.) The technology was incredible.
  5. I also received instructions for marking the pupil position on my old lenses with a marker. (I used a silver Sharpie on my dark lenses.)
  6. I packed up my old glasses in their case and mailed them off, saying a little prayer that both would be returned to me.

I ordered the lenses on November 24, and my new glasses arrived on December 10. Pretty amazing! 

It was about $100 on sale for new polarized lenses, including shipping. I’m thrilled with my updated glasses. It’s like having new Coach sunglasses for a fraction of the cost. 

Here’s a link you can use to save $20 at LensDirect. 

*Recently I’ve learned a lot about frame and lens sizes after a lifetime of wearing glasses and making some bad purchasing decisions. Most glasses have three numbers on one of the temple arms. 

For example, 53  ᷨ 17  145

  • 53 the width of the lens in millimeters
  • 17 is the width of the nose bridge in millimeters
  • 145 is the length of the temple arm in millimeters


Another helpful measurement is the height of the lens. It’s easy to find this measurement with a ruler. 

If you have a pair of glasses that you like, you can use the shape of the lens plus these numbers to find similar frames. 

Also: a tip if you are having difficulty reading the numbers on the temple pieces: take a photo with your phone. You’ll be able to enlarge the image so that you can read the numbers more easily. Understanding these numbers helped me realize why some of the frames I’ve selected over the years were perfect, and others are awkward or uncomfortable.

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