Like any prescription, an eyewear prescription expires after a specified amount of time. How long are glasses prescriptions good for, and can you get new eyewear with an old prescription? We cover the details below.

Table of Contents

1. How Long are Glasses Prescriptions Valid?
2. Can You Get New Eyewear with an Old Prescription?
3. Are Contacts and Glasses Prescriptions the Same?
4. Where Is the Best Place to Get a Glasses Prescription?
5. How Long Do Glasses Lenses Last?
Prescription Eyeglasses at SportRx

How Long Are Glasses Prescriptions Valid?

Depending on which state you live in, eyewear prescriptions last one or two years. Even though your eyesight may not change much in that period, an up-to-date prescription is still required to buy new glasses or Rx sunglasses.

The expiration date should be written on the prescription itself. If you can’t find your physical prescription, reach out to the most recent place where you had an eye exam or ordered prescription glasses from. Eye doctors are required to keep your information on file for several years, depending on the state.

Sample Eye Prescription

Can You Get New Eyewear with an Old Prescription?

This is a question we get a lot, but it has a simple answer: If the prescription is expired, no. This is because there are laws and regulations against filling an expired prescription.

Even if your eyesight doesn’t seem to have changed, it’s still important to check up on minor changes and, more importantly, your eye health. When you get an eye exam, your optometrist isn’t only measuring your prescription (using the “Which is better? 1? or 2?” test you’re probably familiar with). When they shine a bright light or blow a puff of air into your eyes, they’re also checking to see if your eyes are healthy.

Some eye conditions don’t cause vision problems until later, but can be caught and prevented early on with regular checkups. We recommend annual eye exams for children and exams at least every two years for adults.

Are Contacts and Glasses Prescriptions the Same?

No. Contact lens prescriptions and eyeglass prescriptions cannot be used interchangeably, and often the numbers are different too. If you have a current contacts prescription but your glasses one is expired, you can’t order prescription glasses with your contacts prescription.

Where Is the Best Place to Get a Glasses Prescription?

If you don’t have a regular optometrist, Costco and a Wal-Mart with a vision center are the most widely available options for quick and cheap eye exams. Need other suggestions? Check out our piece on How Do I Find Out My Prescription?

How Long Do Glasses Lenses Last?

By taking proper care of your glasses, and with minimal changes in eyesight, you can wear the same lenses for years. However, we still recommend annual or biennial visits to your eye doctor to check on eye health. Plus, it’s good to keep your prescription up to date — that way, if you need to quickly replace damaged or lost eyewear, it’s faster and less hassle!

Pro tip from our opticians: If you need a new prescription in a rush, you can try reaching out to your eye doctor to request your expiration date be extended. This is especially likely if it’s an emergency and they are not able to offer you an appointment ASAP.

Prescription Eyeglasses at SportRx

The good news is, once you've gotten your expired eyewear prescription updated and ready to go, you can order glasses anywhere. With SportRx, after you customize the lenses to your liking, giving us your prescription info is as easy as taking a picture and uploading it. We'll handle the rest.

When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect glasses. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians.

Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee™. Try your glasses or sunglasses for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription glasses online at SportRx today!

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