What Should I Do If I Lose My Prescription Glasses?

So you’ve lost (or broke) your glasses and you’re now effectively blind. I’ve been there, my friend. It’s a nuisance, but fear not! Here are the best ways to get 20/20 vision again in a jiffy.

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Contact Your Eye Doctor or Optical Store

optician helping customer choose glasses

One of the quickest routes to seeing clearly again is to reach out directly to your eye doctor or optical store.

Give them a call or drop in to order a new pair of glasses or even snag a temporary replacement pair.

Some opticians or optical stores can even offer same-day service or expedited delivery for new glasses.

Additionally, they might even accept your vision insurance or offer discounts or warranties for your glasses, potentially saving you a good chunk of change.


  • You get professional help and advice
  • There’s usually a wide range of frames and lenses to choose from
  • Peace of mind on your prescription accuracy and quality


  • Possibly pricier than budget opticals or online retailers
  • A potentially longer wait time for your glasses to be ready
  • Not that useful if you’re traveling or away from home

Get A Pair of Over-the-Counter Reading Glasses

over the counter reading glasses

Over-the-counter reading glasses work in a pinch if you need closeup vision help.

They’re sold in most drugstores or from your local pharmacy or convenience store, making them an easy choice for near vision tasks.


  • No Rx needed
  • No need to wait for shipping or an eye doctor appointment
  • They’re pretty easy to find and quite economical


  • One size doesn’t always fit all. Aside from frames that may not fit well, you’re usually limited to the same ADD power for both eyes.
  • This only works for those with farsighted vision or presbyopia.

Over-the-counter reading glasses won’t replace your regular glasses, but they can be a great temporary solution.

Wear Your Contacts or Prescription Sunglasses

closeup of woman putting contact lens in eye

If you have contact lenses, your backup plan is already in your possession. Now’s a good time to pop them in.

Or, if you have prescription sunglasses, those can substitute in a pinch, though they aren’t the best for darker settings or nighttime driving.


  • If you have contacts already, it’s a straightforward solution. Plus, you can be barefaced and look like you don’t even need glasses.
  • Prescription sunglasses provide UV protection.


  • There are extra steps involved with cleaning and storage of contact lenses.
  • Sunglasses are a great solution during the day, but they’re not suitable for darker environments or night driving.

Order New Glasses Online

woman shopping for eyeglasses on laptop

Finally, another great way to get new Rx glasses is to order them online. There are plenty of online retailers out there offering affordable prices and speedy delivery.

It’s a great choice if you love to shop from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you happen to be!).

You’ll need your current prescription and pupillary distance (PD) measurement handy if you plan to order new glasses online.

If you don’t have these, a quick call to your eye doctor should get you sorted out. Otherwise, see below for other options to get your prescription and PD.

Some online optical shops like Overnight Glasses, EyeBuyDirect, and Zenni Optical, offer overnight or 2-day delivery options for an extra fee or for selected frames.

Many online retailers offer free shipping, free returns, or discounts on your favorite brand of eyewear. 


  • You can save yourself a good chunk of change and time
  • The world is your oyster with a wide range of frames to choose from
  • Shop anywhere, anytime


  • You aren’t usually able to try on frames before buying
  • Quality or accuracy of your prescription might not be 100% reliable
  • Possible delays or errors in delivery or returns

How To Get Your Prescription and Pupillary Distance (PD) Measurement

From Your Eye Doctor

The simplest method is to contact your eye doctor who issued your most recent prescription. Most optometrists will provide you with a copy upon request, so give them a ring.

Just keep in mind that prescriptions typically expire after one to two years.

Online Vision Tests

eyeglasses on top of tablet and smartphone with eye test

If your prescription is expired, a quick way to get an updated one is by taking an online vision test. 

Companies like Warby Parker, Lensabl, and 1-800-CONTACTS offer virtual vision tests that you can take using your digital device.

The test itself is free, but you’ll pay a nominal fee for a licensed optometrist in your state to review and renew your prescription.

Online vision tests are designed to check your visual acuity and give you an updated prescription so you can get yourself a new pair of Rx glasses without physically going to the eye doctor.

However, there are limitations – not everyone is eligible depending on where you live or the complexity of your prescription.

Measure Your PD At Home

If you need your PD and can’t make it to an optometrist, you can measure it yourself with a ruler and a mirror.

Zenni Optical provides detailed steps to measure your PD.

Or, if you prefer, you can also measure your PD by using an online PD tool.

Tele-Optometry Services

Services like Visibly provide an online refractive eye exam that can generate a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

This can be a convenient option if you can’t make it to an eye doctor’s office, but it’s worth noting that these services are not available in all states due to regulatory restrictions.

Remember, nothing can replace a comprehensive eye exam, which can detect eye health issues beyond just visual acuity.

If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while or if you’re experiencing any vision problems, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit with an eye doctor.

How to Avoid Losing Your Glasses + Prepare For This In The Future

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right? Here are some simple strategies to help you keep your glasses secure and prepare for those unexpected mishaps.

Secure Your Glasses With A Strap Or Clip

Zenni Eyeglass Chain

Accessories aren’t just about fashion – they can also save your day. Consider using a glasses strap or a clip to keep your eyewear secure and organized.

Croakies make a variety of colorful and stylish straps. If you’re looking for something more discreet, try a clip like ReadeREST that attaches your glasses to your shirt.

Carry a Spare or Backup Pair

eyeglasses and cleaning cloth in case

Just as you have a spare tire in your car, it’s a good idea to have a spare pair of glasses as backup.

It’ll save you a lot of trouble if your main pair goes missing or breaks.

Keep your spare pair in a safe and accessible place – at home, in your car, or even in your office drawer.

Update Your Prescription Regularly

Keeping your prescription updated can expedite the process of ordering new glasses if you lose your current pair.

Regular eye exams ensure your prescription is accurate and your eyes are healthy.

Plus, it’s always a good idea to have a digital copy of your prescription saved for when you need to get a new pair fast.

Label Your Glasses With Your Name and Contact Info

Lastly, if you’re really prone to losing things, add a label to your glasses. If someone finds them, they’ll know how to reach you.

There are different ways you can do this: use a small sticker, attach a tag, or if you’re feeling fancy, get your name and contact info engraved on the frame.

Just be sure it’s not obstructing your vision or comfort!

Go Forth And See Well

We’ve all been there—squinting at the blurry world, retracing our steps, patting down every surface, only to realize our trusty glasses have pulled a vanishing act.

So, until we develop glasses with built-in GPS (now there’s an idea!), let’s keep our specs secure, have a backup plan, and always carry a spare. 

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