Glasses repair options

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How many people wear glasses in the UK? This is a very difficult question to answer and any figures suggested would be approximate.

However, it has been said that about 30% of the 16 to 18 years old population in the UK would need vision correction at some point.

Obviously, the term 'vision correction' includes contact lenses or laser surgery, but I believe that many would still opt for the tried and tested option of glasses.

We all know that glasses are expensive, especially when fashion labels are involved and the wearer can pay hundreds of pounds to have a designer name on them.

Unfortunately, the costs can continue to mount. You may need to replace a damaged lens or replace two should your prescription change and let's not forget about the frames.

Fortunately, there are options open to you when it comes to glasses repair. Here in the UK, certain groups of people may be eligible for help from the NHS when it comes to the cost of repairing their glasses.

If you fall into one of these following groups, to qualify for help, your glasses must not be covered by a warranty, insurance or after-sales service.

We all know that children like to play and when they do, more often than not, they play hard. As a result, should your child wear glasses, damage can easily occur.

As long as your child is under the age of 16, the NHS can issue you with an optical repair or replacement voucher. These vouchers can be used to counter the costs involved should you need glasses repair or a full replacement.

It's not just children who damage their glasses. In the fast-paced world we live in, adults can easily break or damage their glasses. Unfortunately, there are provisos when it comes to assistance from the National Health Service for the over 16s.

You are only entitled to financial relief if you are eligible for an NHS optical voucher and if the damage or loss of your glasses was as a consequence of illness. If you do fall into this rather narrow group, it must also be agreed by your primary care trust that the damage or loss was caused by illness.

By now you may be asking yourself 'How much is this voucher worth?' There is no set amount for this voucher and is dependent on what needs to be repaired or replaced. You may have fallen and scuffed one lens in which case the amount you may receive from the National Health Service will be less than if you had damaged the entire frame as well. Your optician will be able to provide more explanation of the voucher's value.

What can be done if you fall outside of these groups? There are companies out there who specialise in glasses repairs. What used to be just a service for opticians has now become a service for all.

Repairers are using the latest technologies available to deliver both precision repairs and the highest level of customer satisfaction. You can even find glasses repair companies that will endeavour to check, repair, checked again, polish, package and return your glasses to you all in the same day.

Another point worth mentioning is that these companies will also repair your sunglasses, something that the NHS would not. Many will deal with the designer labels and offer Armani, D&G, Prada or Ray-Ban sunglasses repair.

Of course, you could just buy a new pair but in these times of economic uncertainty, you may only wish to view this option as a last resort.