Photo: Lorenzo Sala (Shutterstock)
You step on your glasses in the middle of the night. Or a house fire melts your glasses frames. A tornado rips your glasses right off your face. Or a pandemic worsens, your glasses break, everything shuts down, there is no way to get a replacement. As a wearer of glasses, I’ve thought about all of these options and more. You may have done this too, but haven’t taken any steps to prepare for a potential future without glasses. Let’s fix that.
Get your glasses
Glasses can scratch and break, which is why you should have multiple pairs. I currently have five pairs available. Sure, glasses can get expensive and prescriptions can change – but an old prescription is better than nothing in an emergency. So keep it when you get a new pair. Keep extra pairs in your pocket, desk, and car. And if you have an emergency bag, make sure you have glasses there too.
If you are traveling far from home, bring an extra couple or two for your trip and separate them as if they were the President and Vice President leaving the capital. This is especially useful if you are camping, hiking, boating, or anywhere other than home (or as an optician).
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If possible, get scratch-resistant lenses and only clean them with an appropriate material such as a microfiber cloth. Eye Buy Direct warns against cleaning your glasses with your shirt, as clothing fibers can damage your lenses more than you might think; Paper towels and napkins can be worse.
In an emergency you can use Dish soap and warm water to clean your glasses without scratching the lenses. Use your fingertips and rub the lenses with a dish soap without lotion. Then rinse them off under warm water.
Another thing that you need is a suitable glasses case, which can range from cheap plastic to expensive leather. When you are not at home, you should always have an extra empty suitcase with you, as well as a glasses repair kit with small screws, a screwdriver, a cleaning cloth, nose pads and a magnifying glass. You should have two kits for every pair of glasses you have and keep them with your emergency glasses. You will never be without glasses or an easy fix when you need them.
Plan for worst-case scenarios
In desperate times, you can use white glue and magazine paper bind temporarily a broken eyeglass bridge by peeling off the magazine paper in horizontal strips, adding glue and layering it on both sides. Glue and newspaper can essentially create a paper mache bond that can take a short while before you get to one of your replacement pairs. If you lose an eyeglass screw and need MacGyver in an emergency, you can use tweezers to insert a twisted tie into the screw hole.
Know how to manage your fuse contacts
Contacts are incredibly useful in everyday life, but they can be dangerous in a disaster situation as they require clean water and an antibacterial solution. Without clean contact lenses, your eyes are prone to infection like bacterial and Fungal keratitis.
If you don’t have a contact solution, antibacterial fluid can do the trick, however Soap and water is the best alternative. However, whether you are camping or just stuck indoors during a global pandemic, stocking up with contact solutions is obviously the best option. “An eye infection would most likely be your greatest threat when you are in touch with the apocalypse,” he says DR. Bullets, a specialist in LASIK and vision correction.
Unfortunately, contact lenses expire: a pair of open, disposable contacts can last anywhere from a day to a month, hard contacts last up to a year or more. An unopened contact package can take time up to three years. So if you set aside contacts for use in a bond, you need to keep track of when they expire. And have glasses ready too. Maybe several couples.