It’s no secret that eyeglasses, contact lenses, and prescription sunglasses can be pricey. This leads many people to wonder whether or not you can turn normal sunglasses into prescription sunglasses, in an effort to save some money by not having to buy a new frame. Alternatively, perhaps you have a pair of sunglasses that you love, and there isn’t anything like it among the prescription sunglasses options available to you. Here’s what you need to know about whether or not you can turn normal sunglasses into prescription sunglasses.
Can You Make Normal Sunglasses Into Prescription?
The answer is: it depends! In some cases, yes, you can indeed have your normal sunglasses fitted with prescription frames. In others, no, it wouldn’t be possible to turn your sunglasses into prescription sunglasses. If you’ve fallen in love with a pair of sunglasses or if you’re trying to save money by not buying a new frame for your prescription lenses, here’s what you need to know about when you can indeed turn normal sunglasses into prescription sunglasses, and when that simply isn’t possible.
Consider The Frame
The main reason why people ask if you can turn normal sunglasses into prescription ones: they either love the frame they found at the mall, or they found a cheap pair of sunglasses at the grocery store and want to know if said frame can be fitted with prescription lenses.
The truth is that many designer sunglasses can accommodate prescription lenses, however, most cheap sunglasses can’t. This is because in order to turn normal sunglasses into prescription lenses, the frame needs to have both stability and the necessary structure to support prescription lenses. Most cheap, low-quality frames don’t have this. If you’ve gotten a pair of low-quality sunglasses only to need to replace them a short while later, you’ve seen how they won’t last.
Given that prescription lenses are a bit of an investment, you want to ensure that your sunglasses are high quality and made to last, so that you’ll only need to get a new pair if your prescription changes.
Converting Normal Sunglasses Into Prescription Sunglasses
Many regular sunglasses can be turned into prescription sunglasses. As previously mentioned, you want to ensure that your existing pair of sunglasses has a high quality frame that is able to support a prescription lens. This is especially true if you have a high prescription, as high prescriptions mean thicker lenses. This means that if you have thick lenses, a thin sunglasses frame won’t be able to support them very well.
In order to convert your normal sunglasses into prescription lenses, they will need:
- A base curve of 8 or less
- A standardized shape and size
- Removable lenses
If your regular sunglasses are able to be converted into prescription sunglasses, the original lenses will need to be removed and you’ll need to send your sunglasses in, so that they can be fitted with prescription lenses. If your sunglasses have branding on them, it will be lost in this process. If branding is important to you, such as the Ray-Ban logo, you’ll be pleased to learn that many designer brands, Ray-Ban included, offer prescription sunglasses that come with the branding on the lenses.
What Sunglasses Can’t Be Turned Into Prescription Sunglasses?
That fun pair of sunglasses you found that looks like fairy wings? Those wrap-around sunglasses? Those grocery store sunglasses? These are all typically not compatible with prescription lenses. This is because lenses are manufactured to specific sizes and shapes, and it would be quite difficult and expensive to try to make prescription lenses in a unique shape.
It’s a similar situation with those wraparound sunglasses, due to the curvature of the lenses. If you try to turn wraparound sunglasses into prescription lenses, this can affect your vision and cause something like a fishbowl distortion. There are wraparound sunglasses that are made to be able to accommodate prescription lenses, so if you love this style, your best bet is to buy a pair that is already designed to be prescription, rather than trying to turn your sunglasses into prescription sunglasses.
What To Do If You Want To Turn Your Sunglasses Into Prescription Sunglasses
If you want to turn your sunglasses into prescription sunglasses, you’ll need to speak with your optometrist. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not it’s possible to turn your sunglasses into prescription sunglasses. They’ll also be able to advise you on the best materials and tints for your needs. In many cases, it’s much easier to select a pair of prescription sunglasses rather than trying to turn normal sunglasses into prescription sunglasses.
The selection of prescription sunglasses is constantly expanding, and many are very fashion forward. You can find prescription sunglasses to fit your personal style and needs. Just because your sunglasses aren’t your normal pair doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be the same quality or that you shouldn’t take the same level of care in selecting them.
Wolcott Optical provides a wide selection of prescription sunglasses, including multiple different designer brands. Prescription sunglasses can protect your vision and reflect your personal style. To learn more about our prescription sunglasses, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!