Scratched Lenses: What Can I Do?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, December 12, 2021

Scratched lenses aren’t just a bother, they can affect your vision and cause headaches. 

Here’s what you need to know about scratched lenses.

You may have heard that scratches on your lenses can be easily removed using certain products such as toothpaste or baking soda, but in the best interest of your lenses, you should never tamper with your lenses without consulting your optometrist first.

If your glasses are scratched, there are things you can do to prevent further lens damage. But, if a number of scratches are interfering with your vision, it may be time to replace your lenses.

What can you do?

Even a minor scratch on the lens of your glasses can be irritating and obscure your vision.

But, while your first instinct may be to wipe the smudge away with the bottom of your shirt, eye care professionals warn against doing so, as it can actually worsen the damage.

What you can do is:

  1. Rinse the lens using a mild dish soap, or spray the lens with a doctor-approved lens spray, then let it air-dry.
  2. Wipe the lens with a microfiber cloth specifically designed for glasses.

Following these will reduce the risk of dust or lint from a tissue sticking to the scratched part of the lens, causing more damage.

If your lens is scratched to the point where your vision is obstructed and it is causing headaches, it’s time to replace them.

SEE RELATED: Optical Lenses

If a lens imperfection is affecting your vision, contact an eye doctor near you to discuss the best options.

Find an eye doctor near you

What not to do?

Do not use toothpaste, baking soda or any other home remedies to try to remove scratches off your lenses.

Toothpastes contain abrasive chemicals that will not only not remove the scratch but will also damage any protective coatings such as hard coat, UV coating, anti-glare treatments or tints.

Baking soda can actually cause a warp to your lenses and also erode away any previous lens treatments. The lenses may also become opaque, which will further worsen your vision and lead to more headaches.

For sunglasses, these abrasives can remove the tints and coatings and reduce the lens ability to protect your eyes from UV rays.

While home remedies may be recommended by your well-meaning neighbor as a ‘quick fix’ to a lens scratch, they can actually end up causing further damage to your lenses, which will only further impact your vision.

Tips for protecting your lenses

Here are 4 tips to help you protect your lenses from getting scratched:

  1. Store your glasses in a hard protective case.
  1. Avoid leaving your glasses in the car or any other area directly exposed to the sun, as the heat can damage the protective coatings on your lenses.
  1. Avoid using your clothing or tissues to clean your glasses. While these materials may seem soft, they are actually too abrasive for your fragile lenses.
  1. Only use gentle dish soap or a doctor-approved lens spray to clean your lenses. Avoid using household glass cleaners that can strip the protective coatings off your delicate lenses.

What are anti-scratch coatings?

Anti-scratch coatings can be applied to your lenses to give them an added layer of protection against damage. If you have children or pets who may accidentally scratch your lenses, this coating is highly recommended.

Unfortunately, once your lenses are manufactured, this specialized coating cannot be added to your glasses, so be sure to request it before you complete your order.

LEARN MORE:  Guide to Optical Lenses

Contact an eye doctor near you to learn more about protecting your lenses or to discuss the best options for your scratched lenses.

If your glasses are scratched, here’s what you can do to prevent further lens damage. 

If major scratches on your eyeglasses are interfering with your vision, visit your local optometrist to see what can be done or if it’s time to replace them.