Do sunglasses expire?

Sunglasses for UV and blue light protection
Sunglasses for harmful sunlight protection

You bought a quality UV 400 polarized pair of sunglasses. Good for you. But how long are they going to last? Except for fashion purposes…

How often should I replace my sunglasses?

There isn’t exactly some rule. Most eye professionals suggest that we should change our sunglasses every two years. There is no need to change the frame. If you belong to the type of people who wear the same classic design for years, you can only have lens replacement.

You better have your lenses replaced for a number of reasons. The most important is that the lenses may lose their filter capabilities over time. Daily long exposure to sun, for years, can make lenses lose their properties and as a consequence, sunglasses can reduce their UV (or in the case of polarized sunglasses and the blue light) blocking capabilities. That’s the primary reason to wear them.

How to find if your sunglasses have expired?

The best thing you can do is to seek advice from a licensed optician. After examination, they can tell if lenses have to be replaced.

If you’re just curious, you can buy a cheap UV flashlight. Among other purposes, you can test roughly if your sunglasses still work properly. With the UV flashlight shine a $5 or $10 bill. Aim for the watermark on the bill. When it lights up, put your sunglasses in front of it. If the watermark disappears, means that your sunglasses keep their good filter capabilities.

How to keep glasses in good condition?

Follow these simple rules, to keep your glasses in the best condition. Remember, polarized and mirrored lenses are the most vulnerable.

  • Avoid contact with seawater.
  • Try to protect them from beach sand. Sand can scratch and permanently destroy your lenses.
  • Protect glasses from the water of the swimming pool. Some chemicals on the water may react with the lenses.
  • Don’t clean lenses with ordinary fabric. Your shirt or towel is going to scratch the lenses. Always use microfiber lens cloth. This microfiber cloth is designed exactly for this purpose. You can buy one from your local optical store. If you’re a regular they most likely will give it to you for free.
  • You can purchase a glass cleaner solution or even clean your glasses with a simple lotion-free dish soap.
  • Don’t use hot water. It can damage the lenses.
  • Don’t use hard water. It has minerals that can interfere with the lenses. Deionized or distilled water is preferred.
  • Don’t use other chemicals, like acetone or chlorine.
  • Don’t leave them in the car, in direct sunlight, especially in summer. Hot air can ruin them.
  • Avoid putting them on your head. Your hair can scratch them, and oily hair can make difficult to properly clean lenses.