I Have a Nice pair of Sunglasses-Can The Optician Make Prescription Glasses?

I have a nice pair of sunglasses-can an optician put prescription lenses in them?
Any on-line places that do this kind of thing?

Sure–I did that over 20 years ago with a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

However, I was not at all happy with the results. I don’t know if the Ray-Ban frames weren’t made to handle prescription lenses or if the lens maker did a lousy job, but the new lenses kept popping out of the frames. I brought the glasses back in to the lens maker to complain, but they blamed the frames, and told me they couldn’t fix the problem. In retrospect, I should have demanded a refund, but I didn’t. (The lens maker was a national chain, too–Pearle Vision, IIRC.)

So now I just pick out a second pair of prescription eyeglass frames when I get a new eyeglass prescription, and I have them put in a pair of prescription, polarized, sunglass lenses right off the bat.

How nice of a pair are we talking about and is the shape very much different from “normal” eyeglasses? ie: not wraparound oakleys or whatever.

It depends in part on your vision prescription and in part on the frames. Some high-end sunglass companies, such as Serengeti, will cut lenses in prescription strength if your send them your specs, though they’re pretty pricey.

My eye doctor was willing to work with me on getting prescription sunglasses for my admittedly crappy eyes. We started by determining which frames were compatible with my lens requirement first, then I selected one of the choices. Never had a problem with the lenses popping out, though I’ve known other people to have that issue.

Many sunglasses frames are hinged very close to the lens; if you’re nearsighted, lenses with a high correction are going to get hit by the temple piece when you fold them.

I had a really pimp pair of sunglasses a year or two ago. But they were terrible with prescription lenses - I don’t know if the geometry was wrong or the lens-maker was just drunk, but I had noticeable distortion everywhere in my field of vision that wasn’t dead center of the lens.

Nothing like that with my normal glasses.

These days I just stick with transition lenses on my normal frames. I would kill for a “magical” pair of glasses that could do the transitions photochromic thing on my regular frames through a car windshield (which blocks most UV light - good for nearly everybody but the guy with transition lenses).

Sunglasses frames are not, in general, well designed for holding prescription lenses. Prescription lenses are always considerably heavier, and much, much thicker at the edge (for myopia correction, which is what most people need), than normal sunglasses lenses. You would almost certainly be happier with a good pair of frames designed for vision correction. (Your wallet won’t be, of course.)

I know it’s not the right solution for everyone, but sunglasses are one of the biggest reasons I decided to try contacts several years ago, and I haven’t been sorry at all. I can buy and wear whatever sunglasses I want without concern for their prescription-worthiness.

In my experience, the lenses are what make expensive sunglasses worth the money anyway. Replacing the factory lenses with prescription ones tends to eliminate that benefit. If you’re just looking for the style, you could probably find a similar style in a cheaper pair of prescription sunglasses…

If they are “ophtalmic quality” sunglasses, they might work. Some good quality frames will not accomodate Rx lenses, due to the “wrap” shape. For instance, there are many RayBan frames that will work, and many more that will not.

I’ve been working as an optician for almost 22 years. My own personal prescription sunglasses are a pair of “regular” frames, larger than I’d normally wear, with Drivewear lenses. Drivewear are always a sunglass, and are polarized. They are photochromic, plastic or polycarbonate, and do, in fact, change color behind the windshield. They start out “at rest” an icky sort of greenish color, appropriate for hazy conditions. When driving in bright conditions, they turn a coppery brown. When I step out of the car, they change to a darker, less copper, brown. They are NOT inexpensive, but to me, they are worth every penny. I put them in a high quality frame, so they will last a long time. I also paid extra to have anti-reflective coating on the “back side only”, so that I wouldn’t see the reflection of my own eyes in them (that drives me nuts). If you’re not opposed to spending the extra money, I highly recommend “backside AR”. If the optician doesn’t know what you’re talking about, find a new optician.

Take them to an optician who is not all about the $ale. Where I work, we sell to the patient’s need, NOT the bottom line. Bring them to me, I’ll tell you if they’d be a good choice to Rx. :slight_smile:

As previously mentioned, polarized is the way to go.

Just noting that some prescription frames are made by sunglass manufacturers, so you might do better looking for sunglasses that way. I have prescription sunglasses with Ray-Ban frames, and my husband’s prescription sunglasses have Oakley frames; both of us got them at a commercial eyeglass/optician location.

In short, most eye doctor offices should be able to do it depending on the type of frame you have.

My wife is an optician, the lady that works the front of an optometrist’s office. She works in a private office, not a chain like Pearle or LensCrafters. (Not that there is anything wrong with the workers in such places, but chains tend to hire inexperienced help. Kinda like the stereotypical Best Buy worker. I met a few Best Buy guys that actually knew what they were talking about, but not many.)

When I was wearing contacts, She got me a nice pair of RayBans that had a bit of curvature to the lenses. Since then, I started having troubles with contacts, so my wife was able to get me a pair of RayBan sunglasses in the typical Wayfarer style with prescription lenses.

She told me that they couldn’t put a prescription in a curved lens due to distortion. Her doctor only works with a single optical lab, so I’m not clear on whether it was that particular lab that couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do it, or that it can’t be done at all with acceptable clarity.

I have a big head so I had to get the Wayfarer XL series. With prescription lenses and the extra plastic in the frame, they are very heavy. I have a frame and lens allowance on my insurance this year, so I think I will get new wire frames with a smaller tinted lens to reduce the weight.

I have prescription lenses in Ray-Ban frames. I’ve had the frames for about twenty years. The lenses have been replaced a number of times. I haven’t had any problems.