How to Safely Adjust Your Own Glasses

If your glasses are properly and comfortably seated, you may not think about them much. But if they are crooked, slip down your nose or otherwise have to be adjusted, they quickly become a real annoyance.

Knowing how to adjust glasses effectively without making any problem worse can save you the time and effort of taking them to an optician or shipping them back to the manufacturer or seller.

Having an inexpensive eyeglass repair kit at home and being patient with adjusting your temples or nose pads will make the whole process easier. But remember, there are times when it is wiser and safer to leave the adjustments to the professionals.

Before making any adjustments yourself, take a moment to see how your glasses fit so you have a better idea of ​​what to do. Look straight in a mirror and see which temples are out of place or how the nose pads affect the position of the glasses on your face.

The State University of New York’s College of Optometry recommends that the top of the margin should not be above the eyebrow. It shouldn’t be too deep either, partly so that the frame looks good, but above all so that the eyes are centered behind the lenses.

Once you have an idea of ​​what your glasses should look like, minor repairs can be done at home.

In most cases the glasses sit at an angle because one of the temples (also called temples) is angled too low or too high from the edge or is bent so that it no longer rests straight on the ear.

To determine how much a temple should be tilted up or down, position your glasses so that the underside of the edges rests evenly on a flat surface. If the end of a bracket does not touch the surface, it will need to be bent down. If one of the edges lifts off the table, the opposite bracket will likely need to be bent up.

If a plastic hanger is bent, heat it up by holding it over a steaming pan of water or under warm water. Once the temple is warmed up, quickly dry it and gently bend it back. With the fingers of one hand, hold your temple where it is bent. With the other hand, hold the end of the temple and move it in the direction you want to straighten it.

If you encounter resistance, stop so as not to break the temple. “If you need to adjust your glasses yourself, be careful and go slowly,” says Bosung Kim, OD, an optician at Della Optique Eyewear & Optometry in Vancouver. “Being too fast or aggressive can cause the arm to break off or set too far, negatively affecting your vision, which definitely needs to be fixed by a professional.”

You should also resist the urge to heat the temples in other ways, such as by heating the temples. B. by holding your glasses over a flame or using a hair dryer. “This can damage the lenses and coatings if not done correctly,” said Kelli Conesa, OD and CEO of Chrycy Eye Group in Miami.

Metal frames can also be heated with warm water or steam to make them more pliable. However, if it’s a minor adjustment, you may be able to gently bend it without heat. Continue to lay the glasses on a flat surface to see if they are back in line.

If the temples appear straight but feel too tight or loose, you can also adjust them by bending them up or down. If the temples on the ears are too tight, bend the end of the temples up slightly. Most of the temples should curve at about a 45 degree angle just behind the ear. If the bend begins in front of the ear, it is necessary to loosen the temples.

If the brackets are loose, hold them by the bend and pull the brackets down. Plan on trying your glasses on a few times while you make adjustments. This can take some trial and error, so be careful not to flex your temples too much and risk breaking them.

The temples are attached to the rims with a small hinge held in place by a tiny screw. By repeatedly opening and closing the glasses, the screw can loosen and the hinge can loosen. And if the screw pops all the way out, it can be almost impossible to find. And the only solution is a new screw.

Many screws are standard sizes and are sold in eyeglass repair kits, which usually include a small screwdriver, cleaning cloth, and replacement nose pads. A magnetized screwdriver can be especially helpful in preventing the replacement screw from disappearing.

To tighten the hinge, open the glasses and line up the holes in the frame and temple. Use plenty of light and a magnifying glass if necessary. Insert the screw and turn clockwise to tighten. However, tighten it just enough so that it can no longer be turned easily. Don’t over-tighten it.

“If you’re trying to fix glasses at home, make sure you have adequate lighting, a flat and clear work area, and wear your spare glasses or use a magnifying glass,” says Nora Cothran, OD, an optometrist based in Tampa. “Screws should be tightened very slowly to avoid over-tightening, loosening the screws or damaging the frame.”

The nose pads keep your glasses properly and comfortably on your nose. If the glasses are too tight or too close together, your glasses may be too high on your nose. If they are too loose or too wide, they tend to slide down.

To adjust the nose pads:

  • Grab a nasal pillow between your thumb and forefinger of one hand while holding the opposite temple with the other hand. You can also use needle-nosed pliers to hold the nasal pad in place.
  • Gently bend the nasal pillow inward if it needs to be tightened.
  • Repeat with the other side.
  • Do not try to pinch both nose pads together at the same time.
  • Carefully bend each nasal pillow individually outward if it needs to be loosened.

Children’s glasses can be adjusted like adult glasses. You want them to be snug so that they are snug during a child’s activities, but not so tight that they hurt. Moving your head from side to side and from top to bottom should give you an idea of ​​whether the glasses are fitting well. The temples or nasal pads may need to be tightened as you move.

You should also be aware that the main reason glasses might not fit properly is because your child has outgrown the glasses. The frame should be about the width of your child’s face and the temples should protrude just above the ears. If the temples flex outward or the frame doesn’t cover the widest part of your child’s face, it may be time for new glasses.

The two main concerns about eyeglass fitting are that the glasses will be irreparably damaged and the lenses will not be properly centered for optimal vision. And if your glasses are under warranty, a botched self-repair might leave you with no choice but to buy new glasses.

While you may feel able to adjust your glasses at home, especially if you have a repair kit, you should think twice about trying something other than a small adjustment. “I don’t recommend investing in these kits as most opticians will be happy to do these repairs for you for little or no cost, especially if you bought your frames from this store,” says Conesa. “Optical stores have special equipment with which repairs can be carried out safely without the risk of damaging your frames.”

In general, problems with the lenses should be treated by an optician or optician. In some cases, scratches can be treated successfully. However, actual cracks in the lenses cannot be repaired.

“Properly fitted glasses are essential to ensure that you are looking through the optical center of each lens,” says San Diego-based ophthalmologist Angelique Pillar, MD. “If the optical center of the glasses does not align with your focus, you can have significantly blurred vision or eye fatigue, which can lead to headaches.”

In addition to optimizing your prescription, there are other reasons why it should be a good fit:

  • Comfort: Too tight glasses can cause headaches or nasal pain.
  • Safety: Glasses that are easy to slip off can be distracting or prevent you from seeing clearly until they are put back on.
  • The appearance: Poorly fitting glasses don’t look professional and can affect how others perceive you and your self-image.

One way to ensure that glasses fit properly from the start is to reach out to trained eyewear professionals who can provide the correct measurements and instructions to ensure that the frame you choose is the correct size and fit.

Buying glasses online has become increasingly common, according to the Vision Council, which reported in 2020 that about 14 percent of glasses sales in the US were made online. However a British study found that consumers preferred glasses bought in an optician’s office rather than online. The poor fit was cited as one of the main reasons for this discrepancy.

James Dello Russo, OD, an optician at the New Jersey Eye Care Center, warns against buying glasses just for their style, especially online. “It’s crucial to combine a good fit with style to make a successful, functional glass that is also a great fashion accessory,” he says. “The framing process is often skipped as more and more consumers search the Internet to fill in their optical aids. There is still no substitute for human touch by a trained professional to guide a patient through the optical dispensing process. “

“From waking up to falling asleep, we rely on our eyesight to find our way around the world,” says Cothran. “Correctly fitted glasses maximize the view at all distances, protect the eyes and reduce eye strain.”

Knowing how to adjust your glasses can reduce the frustration of crooked or ill-fitting glasses and the time it takes to rely on others to make minor adjustments. A glasses repair kit or two can help replace lost screws and nose pads. Remember, however, that bending temples and rims can be risky, so be careful and never use too much force.

If you are unsure whether it is safe to make an adjustment, take your glasses to an optician. In many cases, the repairs can be free or cost very little.


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