Part of being an Australian is spending time outdoors behind a pair of shades. The almost perpetually sunny weather means that for many of us, our sunglasses have become an extension of our bodies. But sunglasses aren’t just a practical accessory that allows us to see better on really sunny days. They are also crucial for the health of our eyes. According to the NSW Cancer Council, ultraviolet radiation can cause both short-term eye problems such as swelling and long-term damage such as cataracts, cancer of the conjunctiva and skin cancer of the eyelids and around the eyes.

But not all sunglasses are created equal. The quality of the lenses and coatings are what determines whether a pair can offer 100% protection, only moderately block UV rays or be completely useless. With that being said, it’s recommended to look for models that are rated UV400 or higher. However, even this is not always a guarantee as some can have potentially false UV lables. For that reason, you should always do your research when buying sunglasses. Or better yet, opt for trusted designer brands such as Oakley.

Oakley is a name that’s synonymous with quality eyewear. Oakleys were especially popular in the ’90s, but unlike other trends in eyewear, they’ve managed to stay around due to their unmatched quality. The brand invests unparalleled research and technology to create a product that provides maximum protection, stability and comfort. All of their glasses are tested to the most rigorous test of ANSI and have lenses that block 100% of harmful UV rays, as well as blue light. But all that quality comes at a considerable price tag. Since Oakley sunglasses can be an investment, you may want to make sure that they last you for years. To prolong the lifespan of your shades and make sure that they serve their purpose, here are some helpful tips.

Clean Your Sunnies Regularly

Your Oakleys will get dirty easily from being exposed to the elements as well as from any hair products that you use. Just like you wash your clothes after spending a day in them, the same goes for your sunglasses too. If you don’t clean your shades regularly and properly, the dirt can eat away at the lenses and frames. Peeling, bubbling and even pitting can occur.

To clean your Oakleys’ lenses, it’s best to use a special lens cleaning spray that has less than 5% alcohol. Spray some of it on the lenses and with a clean microfiber cloth wipe them softly using circular motions. To clean the grime build up underneath the rubber nose and earpieces, rinse the shades off in lukewarm water, and using mild dish soap give the frames a gentle scrubbing. You shouldn’t use anything that has ammonia or bleach or vinegar (even though it’s great for cleaning drinking glasses ) because these can damage the coatings on your lenses.

Whenever you want to remove some smudges affecting your view, never use your breath and your shirt. First of all, this is unhygienic. And second, clothing is rarely soft enough to clean lenses without scratching and isn’t always able to remove fluids completely. As a result, the shades can become a streaked mess and more dirty that they were before. Instead, always carry a microfibre cloth with you to wipe occasional smudges without damaging the lenses.

Tighten the Screws

The screws in your sunglasses can get loose over time. It’s recommended to tighten the screws that hold the top and bottom part of the frame around the lenses periodically. To do so, consider purchasing a special optical screwdriver as regular screwdrivers won’t be able to fit. You can find an optical screwdriver from most stores that specialize in eyewear.

How to Straighten Oakley Sunglasses?

If you feel that your shades’ arms are crooked, you can try to straighten them. But doing so requires you to be extremely careful as not to break them. If you’ve picked a model with a metal frame, you can easily adjust them to fit right. All you’ll need is a flat surface, a soft cloth and some pliers. Wrap the frames with the cloth and clamp the pliers where the frames bend to make tiny adjustments. Then lay the sunglasses on a flat surface to test whether the frames are straight. If not, continue to make adjustments until they lay perfectly flat. However, if you went for a model with plastic frames, straightening them can be trickier as it requires you to soften the plastic with heat. In this case, it’s best to visit an approved optical dealer to work on them.

Replace the Lenses When Damaged

So, you’ve been carefully sticking to all of the above, but somehow still ended up damaging the lenses of your Oakleys. I’m not one to judge, because accidents do happen and I myself have sat on my glasses a number of times. So, the question is what can be done? All Oakleys have a two year warranty, however this does not apply to scratched lenses and you will need to purchase a brand new pair or get replacement lenses. And considering the price tag on new Oakleys, replacement lenses will cost you significantly less.

But can you buy replacement lenses for Oakley sunglasses? The answer is yes. The Oakley company sells replacement lenses for all their products, however, currently they only ship to addresses within the United States and US Territories and do not offer international delivery. But luckily, there are some Australian-based companies that manufacture quality replacement lenses for Oakleys. 

How to Find New Lenses to Fit Your Oakleys

The first step to find replacement lenses for Oakleys is to identify the exact model of your sunglasses. To do so, you will need to look on the inside of the frame where there will be the frame number and name. For example, this may be Squad Wire OO4075. Some models may come in multiple sizes, in this case you’ll find the size usually after the frame number.

Other Benefits from Lens Replacement

When choosing replacement lenses for Oakley sunglasses, you can pick ones with some cool features that your previous lenses didn’t have. For instance, you have the chance to get yourself some polarized lenses for quite the bargain. Polarized lenses help reduce sun glare and reflection, thus making seeing a lot more comfortable, especially in snowy or rainy conditions. You also get to choose lenses in a different colour for a more stylish look.