I can't see clearly now; it's a pandemic and my glasses rx is too old
May 8, 2020 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to get a new pair of glasses right now when my prescription is expired?

Pretty simple question but there may not be a simple answer. I have a glasses prescription that expired in November (it was good for a year) and I would like to get a new pair of glasses because my current pair are in bad shape.

I tried calling my optometrist to see if they would extend my prescription but they're closed due to covid and not answering the phone (they're located in a mall which is closed). They probably will be opening up soonish but I wouldn't really want to have an appointment right now even if they were open.

Is there any way for me to get new glasses right now?
posted by geegollygosh to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If your prescription hasn't changed much and you have an iPhone, Warby Parker has an app that can give you a new prescription for $40. It is a huge pain in the ass to use! Make sure you have a photo of your old prescription handy before you start! Obviously their intention is that you would use the prescription at Warby Parker but I believe it's just a regular prescription and you could use it elsewhere if you wanted.
posted by mskyle at 7:16 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Glasses USA has an app that can read your prescription in your current glasses and tell you your pupillary distance so you can order new glasses. I'm having to do this now. I did a few test runs on a pair of glasses that I knew the prescription of to see how accurate it is. It got the prescription accurate once, and once it got it wrong by just one number. It was close enough that I went ahead and ordered glasses with the prescription it said was in my current pair. I haven't gotten them in the mail yet, so I don't know if they'll be useable.
posted by ilovewinter at 7:20 AM on May 8, 2020

Best answer: What do you mean by your current glasses are in bad shape? Do you mean that your glasses are scratch and or bent oddly from rough physical wear? If so, just get a new (cheap) pair with your current prescription. Most of the online glasses ordering sites just have you enter in your prescription - fill in what you want for the date.

I just re-ordered some glasses with a 3 year old prescription - my eyes historically don't change much, and my lenses are only bad because of scratches and unevenly worn down lense coatings.

Obviously this is less helpful if you're saying your glasses are in bad shape because you aren't seeing clearly despite your lenses/frames being in pristine condition.
posted by nobeagle at 7:33 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If my memory serves, you don't have to scan in your prescription at Zenni or EyeBuyDirect, you just enter it into the fields they provide. So they have no idea if it's 20 years old or from yesterday.

I used their tools to measure my pupillary distance at one point, and it worked great.
posted by nosila at 7:34 AM on May 8, 2020 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify-- the prescription is fine (more or less... it'll do) but the glasses themselves are bent up and scratched.

But I always thought that the online places had to call and confirm with your optometrist that it was a valid prescription... am I making that up?
posted by geegollygosh at 7:36 AM on May 8, 2020

Best answer: I've only ordered online from Zenni, but when entering in the prescription, they just ask for the numbers - they don't even know where I had my vision checked, much less the ability to call in. I suspect most places won't ask for a scanned copy of the prescription, because that's a source of error that would be on them. If you enter in your prescription badly, then it's on you.
posted by nobeagle at 7:41 AM on May 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I just ordered glasses from Zenni for the first time. All I had to do was enter the numbers from my prescription. I got an email saying they were working on them, so everything seems to be proceeding smoothly. They didn't give me any reason to think they would call the optometrist to check on the prescription, and in fact I don't think they could have because I believe my optometrist's office is also closed.
posted by somedaycatlady at 7:43 AM on May 8, 2020

(And now that nobeagle mentions it: I realize I didn't even have to say who the optometrist was, so of course they could not contact them)
posted by somedaycatlady at 7:45 AM on May 8, 2020

Response by poster: Okay, great. I'll try Zenni or one of the other online places. Maybe I was just thinking of ordering contacts online (where I think they do verify?) and got confused.

Hopefully the first couple of answers can help folks who need a prescription!
posted by geegollygosh at 7:46 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’ve ordered many pairs of cheap glasses from Glasses USA. They always say that they’re going to verify my prescription but I don’t think they ever have given that I’ve always used prescriptions that are several years out of date
posted by raccoon409 at 8:15 AM on May 8, 2020

If they're licensed to do business in your state, online places may be required to follow your state's laws as far as confirming it's an active prescription, but there's no requirement that they do so if they're not.
posted by Candleman at 8:21 AM on May 8, 2020

I just got my Zenni glasses a week ago - it (the whole ordering processing and receiving) went well.
posted by turkeybrain at 8:21 AM on May 8, 2020

I've ordered a half dozen pair from 39dollarglasses and Zenni and have never had a prescription "verified" by them. I just type in the numbers for the script and get my glasses.
posted by GamblingBlues at 8:22 AM on May 8, 2020

Also even if they do try to verify your prescription they'll most likely call your eye doctor, get the "out of office" message, and consider that to have been their due diligence.
posted by mskyle at 8:25 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nthing Zenni. You just enter the numbers from your prescription and they make the glasses. No verification or scanning. You will need to measure your PD if it’s not on your script.
posted by gnutron at 8:53 AM on May 8, 2020

Confirming that 39dollarglasses, eyebuydirect, and goggles4u just have you type in the numbers from your prescription. They don't talk to anybody.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:46 AM on May 8, 2020

Nthing 39dollarglasses and no need for verifying the prescription.
posted by StrawberryPie at 12:27 PM on May 8, 2020

IME, zenni, zeelool, eye buy direct, coastal, and I believe Bonlook does not verify your RX. Contacts have different requirements as they interact with your body physically.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:04 PM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

We get contacts for our daughter online, at save-on-lens.com, and they don't ask for the eye doctor's name, either. It's a prescription, but it's not like medicine.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:07 PM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just ordered contacts from Eyeconic earlier this week and I did have to upload a copy of my prescription. Just keep in mind any facility taking a shortcut and not verifying that you have a valid prescription may be taking other shortcuts too - like with the quality of the product.
posted by COD at 2:30 PM on May 8, 2020

Nthing Zenni, both for readers and lined bifocals.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2020

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