Losing Prescription Glasses And Travel Insurance

Losing Prescription Glasses

And Travel Insurance

losing prescription glasses

©Exploramum and Explorason – Panama City at dusk – without sunglasses

What happens when I lose my prescription glasses in Panama

Losing prescription glasses can be a real drama when you are traveling. My good pair cracked in Hawaii, but I have a backup pair and I’m prepared I tell myself.  But how wrong I was!

losing prescription glasses

©Exploramum and Explorason – I lose my glasses overboard in a strong wind

How it happens

It all becomes a drama when we are leaving Bocas del Toro on the water taxi heading eventually that day for Boca Brava. The wind picks up and whips my sunglasses clean off my face, overboard they go! Now it IS a drama! These are distance vision sunglasses and seeing things far off, plus, I need eye protection from the glare of the sun.

Reporting the Incident When Losing prescription sunglasses

It is impossible to report lost sunglasses to the police in Panama. The police do not understand, nor care. And of course, because the sunglasses went overboard, they cannot be found. Yet the Travel Insurance company want proof of this.  Keep this in mind if it happens to you and what you can do.

We had to get a statement from a friend traveling with us and had a blog article and photos to back up the situation.

Finding an Optician

When in a foreign country it is often hard to seek the services of the profession you need when you do not speak the language well.  So, I ask where I can get new prescription glasses from several people without success.  I then as the lady at our hotel reception and says I can get them at a local store. She gives me directions and off I go, fully armed with my Spanish dictionary and my regular optical glasses.

Ordering The New Glasses

Mixed messages

I fail miserably at trying to tell the optometrist what I want. She thinks I want a ‘tint added to my day glasses’ – No! Then she thinks I want ‘normal glasses’ – No! Then they finally get it, but they have no frames that suit sunglasses.

Seeking an optical store

I had seen an optical store at the Gran Terminal (bus terminal). So we catch a taxi to Albrook. We go through the same deal – but no frames for sunglasses again.

Finally, we wander through Albrook – a huge Shopping complex and we find a store. We check out the frames and I find a pair that I like.

I have an appointment to get my eyes tested with the optometrist. My son thinks I look like a mad scientist.

losing prescription glasses

©Exploramum and Explorason – getting my eyes tested at the optometrist

Payment And Receipt

A Jamaican lady comes to the aid when I have to pay the account as I don’t understand what they want me to do. She has great English and calls me “baby” in her soft accent. She is so lovely.

I have to pay for them in full and I need a receipt.

Thank goodness I have Travel Insurance that covers the cost of the replacement sunglasses.

I sure hope he has the right script as we collect them at the end of the week and we are due to change countries. Also, because I have paid for them I don’t want to have to forgo having them – so fingers crossed.

This Takes Time

The whole process of finding an optometrist and ordering the glasses took nearly all day!

We are starved and go straight to the food court then head back to the hotel. My son goes into zombie mode and watches a bit more USA TV.

Since it is dusk, we head out for a walk. The overpass near the hospital gives us a great view. On one side is the new city.

Panama city

©Exploramum and Explorason – Panama City at dusk

A Little About Panama City

On the other side, you can see the old city. This is the one built about 200 years ago, not the one built 400 years ago.  Panama has a 10% growth a year. It will soon be at par with Singapore, they say. Wealth and construction reign. If I had money to invest, I would buy a property here.

losing prescription glasses

©Exploramum and Explorason – enjoying Panama City (with blurred distance vision)


Losing prescription glasses when traveling can cause you a lot of wasted time and stress trying to find replacements.  It is advisable to bring a backup pair with you.  Also, some travel insurance companies will not pay out until you return home to your physical abode.


When I go to collect the prescription glasses they are not ready.  It is a terrible panic as we fly out the next day.  In the end, we have a rush and receive them just prior to flying out.  It is a slim timeframe that caused a LOT of stress!

Questions and Comments

  • Have you ever had to use travel insurance whilst you were overseas?
  • Do you have any tips for our readers?
  • Do share your thoughts and comments with us below.
losing prescription glasses

©Exploramum and Explorason – I get my new glasses – just in time to catch the flight to South America

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