A commonly recurring question arising within the optical sector is ' Can I have new lenses fitted into my existing frames ?'. This is usually followed by one or more of the following comments :-
'The frames are the most expensive part'
'My current frames are fine I have had them for the last five years and they are fine - well the sides a bit loose and the colour on the top is a bit faded - but they are fine.'
'The optician has only given me a new prescription because he/she wants to sell me a new frame'
'All the frames look the same I cant find anything I like - I think i will use my old frame'
The purpose of writing this article is to address some of these commonly arising misconceptions in the hope that patients will understand and make the right choices for there particular needs.
Often (but not always) the most expensive part of a pair of spectacles is actually the lenses and not the frame. Most opticians practices today will carry a range of frames starting from budget to designer frames. If you have a particular budget in mind tell your dispensing optician who will be only too pleased to direct you at the range suiting your budget.
If you are considering using your existing frames for new lenses consider the following :-
Does the practice I am attending fit new lenses into existing frames ? - Some practices do not.
If you have a plastic frame has it become brittle ? - Again ask your dispensing optician.
With metal frames - is the plating wearing off. ? Is metal fatigue possibly an issue ?
Is your frame twisted, bent and beyond resurrecting to its former glory ?
Finally consider the following analagy - Would you put four new tyres on a car that might not pass its MOT ?
There is nothing more frustrating for a patient than having new lenses fitted to a frame that is five years old(or more). Within the next six months the side breaks or the front. Patient returns for a replacement 'part' only to find that the frame is no longer in production and thus cannot be repaired. That patient may potentially need to start from the beginning selecting a new frame and lenses. The 'old lenses' can seldom be utilised as they are made to fit a specific frame that is no longer made. The money spent on the old lenses (6 months ago) is wasted (could be £200 or £300 for high quality varifocals) and the patient is left to refinance the new pair - was reglazing a good idea/money saver after all ?.