Can I Get Glasses with an Expired Prescription?

Posted Mar 7, 2019 | Tips, Tricks & Tech

No, you cannot use an expired eyeglass prescription to buy new glasses. The reason for this is simple: our eyes change as we age, and a prescription from several years ago may no longer guarantee clear vision. You may not realize how much your vision has deteriorated since your last eye exam. People are often pleasantly surprised when they put on new eyeglasses with an accurate, up-to-date prescription that improves the quality of their eyesight.

How Long Do Eyeglass Prescriptions Last?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the expiration date on prescriptions for eyeglasses varies by state. Reputable eyewear retailers and websites will reject expired prescriptions. You should be wary of anyone willing to sell you corrective lenses without a valid prescription.

How Do I Know When My Vision Prescription Has Changed?

Gradual changes to your vision may not be obvious, but here are some common signs to watch out for:
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain or a feeling of “tired” eyes
  • Squinting to resolve details
  • Double vision
If you’re experiencing any of the above issues it may be time for a new eyewear prescription.

Can I Use My Contact Lens Prescription for New Glasses?

No, contact lens prescriptions are different than eyeglass prescriptions. The reason is that contacts sit on your eyes, while eyeglass lenses rest a short distance in front of them. That throws off the requirements for your corrective lenses.

What Should I Do if I Need a New Prescription?

Lucky for you, it’s easy to find an eye doctor to perform a comprehensive eye exam and write you a new prescription for eyeglasses. During the exam, the optometrist or ophthalmologist will perform a variety of tests to gauge the health of your eyes and quality of vision. Eye doctors are legally required to provide you with your prescription, whether you intend to buy new glasses from them or someone else.

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