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Can You Fix Scratches on Glasses Lenses?

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

If you haven’t seen the first part of this series, click here to catch up on what you missed about what anti-glare is and what it does on your glasses.

But, if you’re all caught up with anti-glare or you even have it on your current pair of glasses then you might have had the most common question we get about it.

Namely: can’t you buff out scratches in anti-glare?

As we talked about in part one of this series, anti-glare is a coating that can be applied to the front and back of lenses to improve the clarity of vision by reducing halos and glares off of lenses, and it has a built-in scratch-resistant coating to help protect lenses.

So, if it has scratch-resistant coating built in, why are my lenses scratched?

Firstly, anything “resistant” is not “proof.” Think of the high tech phones we have nowadays. They are water resistant down to a certain depth for a certain amount of time only. If you were to drop your phone in the ocean and retrieve it an hour later, it’s most likely that your phone will be waterlogged and not work correctly.

Anti-glare’s scratch resistant coating is the same way. It can help prevent the scratches that come from everyday wear and tear, but not to extremes. If you were to drag your car keys across your glasses lens with force, your lenses would end up scratched.

What anti-glare can help do in this case is the coating itself may show a scratch, but you’ll still be able to see through the lens material. If you didn’t have these coatings, the material of the lenses themselves would scratch and become cloudy, so you wouldn’t be able to see through that area in your glasses at all.

You can not buff out the scratches in anti-glare. This would actually heat the different types of plastic that lenses are made out of and would end with your glasses being unusable.

The myth of buffing out scratches comes from a time when the only available lenses for glasses were made of actual glass. Buffing puts micro scratches in materials that are softer than glass. In fact, buffing is still used in harder materials than plastic like metal and glass windows on cars.

Glass can provide a clearer image and is more resistant to scratches, but can shatter and splinter near your eyes. This makes them, ultimately, more unsafe than blended plastic lenses.

Glass lenses are no longer the industry standard because they are also heavier, require more maintenance and are available in few prescriptions and treatments.

The good news is, most anti-glares put a scratch warranty on your lenses to replace the lenses if they do become scratched. It’s like seeing through new eyes! If you have scratches in your lenses, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to replace your lenses for you!


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