Crazing is a web of hairline cracks in the anti-reflective coating of your eyeglass lenses. Looking through a pair of crazed lenses can make things seem blurry or cloudy, and simply cleaning the lenses does not help.
While anti-reflective coating on lenses has several benefits (preventing annoying light reflections, eliminating a glare over your eyes, etc.), they require a bit more care to avoid crazing and other types of damage.
What Causes Lens Crazing?
A number of things can cause lens crazing. Some of the most common causes include:
- Extreme temperatures – When lenses are exposed to hot or cold environments, the coating and lens materials expand (in heat) or contract (in cold) at different rates. This can cause cracks in the lens coating.
- A defect in manufacturing – If the lab that creates your lenses doesn’t apply the anti-reflective (AR) coating correctly, the plastic material becomes prone to crazing. It’s often noticeable within the first month to six months of wear.
- Frame adjustments – If your glasses don’t fit properly, your eye doctor or optician might use a frame warmer to adjust them. But if the warmer is too hot, this can cause crazing .
- Harsh cleaning solutions – Window and all-purpose cleaners, as well as rubbing alcohol, can destroy your lens coatings and material and cause crazing.
With proper care and cleaning, eyeglass lens crazing doesn’t have to be a huge worry for you.
What Does Crazing Look Like?
If you notice a small web of hairline cracks in your glasses, it’s likely to be crazing. And if there is crazing, you probably won’t be able to see through those crazed lenses very well.
Contact your eye doctor if you’re not sure. They will be able to guide you through your options for a lens repair or replacement.
How to Fix Crazing on Glasses
It’s possible to remove crazing on your glasses if you can remove the anti-reflective lens coating. But this does not always work, especially on polycarbonate and high-index lenses.
You may be able to remove crazing with certain techniques, such as:
- DIY methods – Using a glass etching cream to remove the AR lens coating might work, but it isn’t recommended because the material is not designed for eyeglass lenses. And if the cream stays on your lenses too long, it can cause additional lasting damage.
- A stripping solution – Your eye doctor’s office may have a stripping solution you can use to try and take the anti-reflective layer off your lenses.
It’s important to note that successfully removing any coating from your lenses is not guaranteed, and home remedies can often make matters worse. It may be a good idea to ask for professional assistance before you try anything.
In some cases, crazing is irreversible. If the damage is too much, you may need to replace your lenses altogether.
How to Prevent Crazed Lenses
Crazing and other damage can be prevented with the proper eyeglass care, storage, and cleaning. It’s also crucial to keep your lenses away from extreme temperatures — specifically heat — as they are major catalysts for crazing.
We recommend the following guidelines:
- Avoid wearing your glasses in extremely warm or hot temperatures, such as near a campfire or a grill.
- Store your eyeglasses in a hard case when not in use.
- Never leave your glasses in your car.
Remember to clean your glasses properly, too. Simply hold them under lukewarm water and clean them with a non-abrasive and lotion-free soap (dish soap is often a great option). It’s best to dry your glasses with a lint-free cloth or towel.
Don’t use window cleaner or multipurpose solution on your glasses, regardless of whether they have crazed lenses or not. The chemicals in these types of cleaners can cause major damage since they are not designed for fragile lenses.
Do Transitions Lenses Get Crazing?
Any lenses that are coated with an anti-reflective coating can get crazing. That includes Transitions® lenses and other photochromic lenses. In many cases, the crazing occurs due to heat exposure.
Are Crazed Lenses Covered Under Warranty?
Eyebuydirect offers a 365-Day Guarantee against manufacturing defects for lenses and frames. In most cases, lens crazing is considered a type of wear and tear and is not covered by warranty.
However, if crazing is due to a manufacturing defect, it will be covered. In these cases, the crazing will probably appear much sooner — usually within six months of receiving and wearing your glasses.
Not sure if your glasses are covered? Contact us via email, live chat, or by calling our 24-hour hotline at 1-855-393-2891. We’ll be happy to help you find the answers you need!
What is crazing on my eyeglass lenses? All About Vision. January 2020.