Why Everyone Needs a Pair of Backup Glasses

September 25, 2023

Clear racks full of women's glasses
Woman holding a pair of black glasses in front of an eye chart

Our eyes are invaluable assets that allow us to perceive the world around us. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, you understand the profound impact they have on your daily life. There are numerous scenarios that highlight the importance of having a backup pair of glasses, regardless of whether you wear them full-time or only occasionally.

Without glasses, it may be impossible to drive, work, or see at school. This is especially an issue in emergency situations when safety and lives are at risk. Based on the prescription and availability of materials, glasses take several days or more to be ordered, made, and received. Don’t wait until you are in a predicament when you need glasses, but are left with nothing.

It is also necessary to clarify what we mean by a backup pair of glasses. An old, scratched pair of glasses with a 10 year old prescription is typically useless. Ask yourself – Would I be comfortable wearing theses glasses in public? Can I see to work? Can I see to drive?

All of the following points are pertinent to children and teenagers, too!


1. Lost glasses
Imagine misplacing your only pair of glasses. I know I laid them right there on the counter. Now where are they? The mysterious pair of lost glasses might come out of hiding someday, but unless you have a GPS tracker on your glasses, you might be looking for a very long time. Having a backup pair ensures that you can still function properly while finding a solution to an unforeseen circumstance.

2. Accidental damage
Life is unpredictable, and accidents can happen at any time. Anyone around children and pets know that glasses can get beat up all too easily. Some repairs are as simple as a frame adjustment, but what happens when the frame is in multiple pieces or the lenses are damaged? While we would like to think our opticians are excellent problem-solvers, they are not magicians. A backup pair of glasses will allow you to continue living your life without unnecessary frustration and disruption.

3. Travel
Embarking on an exciting outdoor excursion or exploring a new city can present challenges when it comes to taking care of your glasses. The risk of damaging and losing glasses is surprisingly higher when people are on vacation. Traveling with a backup pair of glasses provides peace of mind that the vacation will not be ruined due to lack of clear vision.

* CONTACT LENS WEARERS – This next part is for you!

Woman inserting contact lens

4. Run out of contacts
You thought you had one more pair left, but it turns out you already used them. It also just so happens that your contact lens prescription expired, and you can’t order more contacts until your next annual contact lens evaluation and comprehensive eye exam. Now what? We don’t recommend stretching the use of disposable lenses, especially when it comes to re-wearing dailies.

Worldly events impact manufacturing, shipping, and delivering items that we take for granted on a daily basis. Glasses are a more sustainable option when times are uncertain. It’s not a bad idea to have more than one pair of glasses either!

5. Eye infection
Nobody likes waking up to look in the mirror and see conjunctivitis or “pink eye” with all its swollen, red, watery characteristics. Contact lens wearers are already at a higher risk for eye infections. Continuing to wear the contacts during an infection can make the problem worse. Antibiotic eye drops are unable to be administered with contacts in the eyes, therefore, it is necessary to temporarily stop wearing contacts.

There are also situations when contact lenses can cause complications with swelling of the cornea. When the problem is derived from contact lens use, it is mandatory to discontinue wearing the contacts during the healing process. If you don’t have any backup glasses, you will be forced to live in a blur for days to weeks.

6. Eye injury
We can’t predict when accidents happen, but we do know that they do happen. It doesn’t take much to get a corneal abrasion from doing yardwork, playing with the pets, holding a toddler, or even removing contact lenses. In some instances, continuing to wear contacts can increase the risk of infection at the location of the abrasion. Depending on the severity, antibiotic drops might be prescribed to prophylactically protect against infection. As previously mentioned, these drops cannot be inserted while contacts are present in the eyes.

7. Give your eyes a chance to breathe
Wearing contact lenses around the clock is never a good idea. Although technology has certainly progressed over the last 50 years, contact lenses are still pieces of plastic-like material that are placed on the eyes. The cornea needs oxygen to properly function and maintain clarity. While newer contact lens materials are more oxygen-permeable than those in the past, the cornea is still not receiving as much oxygen from the air compared to an eye without a contact lens on it. Therefore, it is beneficial to give the eyes a break at night rather than wearing the contacts right up until bedtime. Your eyes will thank you!

8. Illness
Unexpected sickness or hospitalization may abruptly stop the ability to wear contact lenses. Most surgeries and procedures prohibit the use of contact lenses in case of emergency changes in treatment. Even if it is a head cold, allergies, or the flu – nobody wants to put in contact lenses while feeling miserable and sleeping on-and-off all day.

Come visit our optical to pick out your backup glasses! Being without glasses is a lesson that you don’t want to learn first-hand. Those who have already experienced the blind panicking, that comes from not having glasses, will never be without that backup pair.