How Often Should You Get New Prescription Glasses? (2023 Update)

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Angel C

Getting new glasses can be an unnecessary expense, especially if you feel like your current glasses don’t need to be replaced. After all, if you can still see through them, they’re probably in good condition, right? So, when should you switch to new glasses? Optometrists recommend updating to new glasses every one to three years as needed. However, various factors might suggest it is time to change our old prescription for new ones.

Side Effects of Old Prescriptions

Wearing old prescriptions with the belief they are still functional for eyesight is a common misconception. Wearing glasses that are no longer your correct prescription can hurt your eyesight. It might mean it’s time to get new glasses, whether it’s a slight difference in your visual acuity or you’re experiencing double vision

You should consider new glasses when you don’t have the same visual clarity as before. Maybe things seem a little blurry, or you’re finding that you’re having to squint to see what’s in front of you—this shouldn’t happen if you have the correct prescription. 

A telltale sign that it’s time to get new glasses is when you feel more relaxed or relieved after you take them off. That’s when you know that you need new glasses. You should switch to new glasses to avoid experiencing eye strain, discomfort, and headaches. 

If you’re experiencing any of these effects, it’s time to switch out your old prescription for a new one, especially if it’s been over a year since you last visited your eye doctor.

What Optometrists Recommend

According to the American Optometric Association, adults from the age of 19 to 40 years tend to maintain steady vision, whether they require a prescription or not. Still, it does not necessarily mean you aren’t due for new glasses. As you age, so does your vision. That’s why it is recommended that adults should have an eye exam done at least once a year or once every two years. During your eye exam, your optometrist will determine if there has been any subtle change to your vision and whether or not you need to switch to new glasses. Any changes to our vision might mean you need to get new glasses with a stronger prescription. On the other hand, our optometrist could tell us that your results from your eye exam show there haven’t been any slight changes to your vision. However, It is important to ask your optometrist if we need to change out your current glasses for new ones.

Signs of Wear and Tear

At your eye exam, the optometrist will check your glasses for signs of wear and tear – another reason to get new glasses. Your current glasses may have experienced wear or tear that naturally distorts them. When your glasses have been distorted, it reduces their clarity and function. In this case, it is important to update to new glasses to have clarity in your lenses. Scratches on your glasses are permanent damage that cannot be fixed and could also impact the function of your spectacles. These small marks on your lenses make it difficult to see with your glasses requiring us to get new glasses. In other cases, if we request special coatings to be put on our glasses, like scratch-resistant or anti-reflective coatings, those coatings will deteriorate over time. In this instance, you only need a new pair of glasses with a new set of coatings rather than a new prescription entirely. You might need to switch to new glasses because our glasses are falling apart, whether because of natural distortion and wear and tear over time or if you haven’t been taking good care of them.

Technological Improvements

Technology is advancing, with it, the development of lenses for prescription glasses. It may not be a necessity to switch our glasses for new glasses, but we could get a new pair for the convenience of our vision. New technology allows you to obtain new glasses that are custom-made to your specifications. Depending on your preference and occupation, your vision may benefit from specific lenses that can meet every need your vision requires. You can request that your new glasses have specific lenses that serve more than one purpose to our vision – for instance, progressive lenses. Progressive lenses provide those needing multiple powers in their glasses with the convenience of not having to switch off their glasses constantly.

New technology also allows you to customize your glasses to your occupation, which is another reason you might consider switching out your glasses for a new pair. For example, if you are constantly doing computer work or working with technology, it would be best to customize your glasses to meet the needs of your vision and eye health. Extended focus reader lenses have two focal lenses for screen work and distance vision. You might not need a new pair of glasses to see, but you can still switch to new glasses to apply the new technology that can help and benefit your vision.

Advancements in Lens Coatings

As technology evolves, so do the options for protecting and enhancing your vision with advanced lens coatings. Recent developments in anti-reflective and blue light filtering coatings not only improve visual comfort but also extend the lifespan of your lenses. These innovations help in reducing glare from digital screens and minimizing the harmful effects of blue light exposure. When considering new glasses, exploring the latest in lens coating technology can provide you with improved eye protection and potentially reduce the frequency of replacements due to scratches or wear. Discuss with your optometrist about the newest coatings to see which options could upgrade your eyewear experience.

Comfort and Fashion


If you prefer to wear contacts over prescription glasses, you should consider new glasses the next time you get a new order of contacts. You can have new glasses and contacts but only use the glasses when you are around the house. Our optometrist may recommend getting a new pair of glasses if you have a strong prescription. They may ask you to wear contact lenses for work hours or certain activities due to your prescription and contact lenses. Switching over to new glasses would help ease your eyes from wearing contact lenses and old glasses if they cause mild discomfort to your ears or the bridge of your nose.

You should take into consideration the fashionable senses for getting new glasses. Glasses aren’t just a functional pair of correctional lenses to help us see – they are also accessories. Your prescription glasses are as important as the rest of our outfit and reasons for dressing in a specific way. You can have glasses you wear regularly for daily use, but you can also get new glasses for special occasions, like evenings out or wedding events. Your current glasses may fulfill your needs by providing correctional lenses and daily uses. However, your glasses may not meet the fashion trends coming out. You can switch to new glasses if you want to keep up with fashion trends, or if you want to update your lenses for more suitable occasions you may have that your current glasses may not fulfill.

Consider Lifestyle Changes

Another factor to consider when deciding when to get a new pair of glasses is any significant changes in your lifestyle. If you have recently started a new job or hobby that requires different visual demands, it may be time to update your glasses. For example, if you have transitioned from a desk job to more outdoor activities, you may want to consider getting a pair of prescription sunglasses for sun protection and better visibility. Similarly, if you have taken up a sport or activity that requires specialized eyewear, such as goggles for swimming or skiing, it would be wise to invest in the appropriate prescription eyewear for those activities.

By adapting your glasses to accommodate your lifestyle changes, you can ensure optimal vision and protect your eyes in various situations. Discuss your lifestyle needs with your optometrist during your eye exam, as they can provide recommendations on the best type of glasses to support your new activities. Updating your glasses not only improves your vision but also enhances your overall experience in different aspects of life.

When Should You Switch Out Your Sunglasses?

We also need to switch our sunglasses, but not as often as our prescription glasses if we take good care of them. If your sunglasses are damaged, or the coatings on them can begin to fall apart, leaving behind a noticeable flake, it’s time to get new glasses. You should get new glasses when you notice the coating falling apart because it could mean that the UV protective layer on your sunglasses isn’t working as well as it used to. When misaligned, damaged, or going out of trend, our sunglasses should be switched to new ones.