Glasses aren’t a one-size-fits-all accessory. When you purchase eyewear through a brick and mortar retailer, the optician will usually adjust the glasses to fit your unique features. However, when you purchase glasses online, the responsibility often falls on you to tighten and adjust your glasses at home.
While it’s recommended to have an optician adjust your glasses, it is possible to do it yourself. Below are some of the most common problems people experience with ill-fitting frames as well as tips for how to adjust your glasses at home.
Having glasses that slide down your nose is not only annoying; for people who have multifocal lenses, it can affect their ability to see. Slippery glasses usually occur because the nosepiece does not fit tightly enough across the bridge of your nose.
The nosepiece of metal frames can be adjusted by simply pressing the nose pads inward with your thumbs. It’s best to apply gentle pressure. Then try the glasses on to see if the adjustment was enough. This “guess and check” method will help prevent over-correcting the nose pads, which can cause them to pinch the nose.
Plastic frames aren’t as simple to adjust as metal because the nose pads are designed differently. Rather than adjusting the nose piece itself, you must adjust the frame arms.
Focusing on one arm at a time, soak the frame arm in warm water for 30-60 seconds — this helps the frames bend more easily (and safely). Be sure to keep the lenses out of the water when soaking.
Remove them from the water and hold the glasses so the front of the lenses are facing you. Use your one hand to hold the portion of the arm that runs along your temple. With your other hand, hold the curved end of the frame arm and apply downward and inward pressure. Make sure pressure is firm yet gentle. Repeat these steps on the other arm.
Doing this helps the frame arms fit more tightly behind the ears, which can prevent them from sliding down the nose. Use the “guess and check” method to make sure you’re not over-adjusting.
HELPFUL TIP: During warmer months, you may find your glasses slide down your nose more often. If tightening the frames doesn’t fix the problem, try placing glasses wax on the nose pads to minimize slippage.
Besides the general discomfort, glasses that fit too tightly on your nose create pressure that can lead to headaches or migraines. To avoid this, try the adjustment methods below.
You can adjust the nosepiece of metal frames by widening the nose pads with your thumbs. Be sure to make only little adjustments at a time. Widen the nose pads slightly, then try your glasses on to see if you notice an improvement.
To adjust plastic frames, soak each frame arm in warm water for 30-60 seconds while keeping the lenses dry. After soaking, remove the arm from the water.
Hold the glasses so the front of them are facing you. Use one hand to hold the temple portion of the arm. Hold the curved end of the frame arm with your other hand and carefully apply upward and outward pressure. Repeat these steps on the other arm.
Doing this to the frame arms helps them not sit so tightly behind your ears, which can help loosen how they fit across the bridge of your nose. If you find this technique unsuccessful in relieving the pinching, take your glasses to an optician who can help.
When one side of your frames looks higher than the other when they’re on your face, it’s usually because the arms of your glasses need adjusting. If you need to know how to fix crooked glasses, first take a look in the mirror to determine which side of your frames is too high or too low.
If the right side of your frame is sitting higher than the left side, gently bend the left arm downward near the hinge (where the arm folds in). You can also try bending where the arm hooks behind your ear.
If the left side of the frame is higher than the right, bend the right arm downward near the hinge. Be sure to hold and secure the hinge itself while bending the arm of the frame. Bending at the hinge can cause the arm to loosen or break.
This method can be used on plastic or metal frames. You may find it easier to bend plastic frames after you’ve soaked them in warm water for 30-60 seconds.
Having glasses that fit too tightly or too loosely on your temples can make you dread wearing them. Fortunately, adjusting the temple width is quick and easy for metal frames.
This adjustment is tricky when done on plastic, rimless and semi-rimless frames. If you have one of these frame types and need the temples adjusted, take them to an optician.
First, secure the lens by using your non-dominant hand to hold the corner of the frame where the upper edge of the lens meets the hinge. With your dominant hand, gently bend the frame arm outward and upward.
Use your non-dominant hand to secure the top outer corner of the lens. Gently bend the frame arm inward and downward using your dominant hand. This should help tighten the frames at your temples.
Most frames have tiny screws in the hinges, which are where the arms connect to the front part of the frames. If one or more of the screws become loose or fall out, it can cause your glasses to feel crooked or wobbly.
Before making any other adjustments to your frames, check to make sure the screws are tightened properly. This alone may fix the problem you’re experiencing. If you don’t have a screwdriver small enough to fit into the frame screws, you can purchase an eyeglasses repair kit from your local drug store.
Use the screwdriver to gently tighten the frame screws by turning them clockwise. If you lose a screw and an arm of your glasses falls off before you’re able to tighten them, don’t attempt to fix them at home. Take your glasses to an optician to repair them.
Any time you adjust your glasses from home, there’s a risk of them getting scratched, damaged, or broken. There are certain frame types, like rimless and semi-rimless, that are especially susceptible to complications. Specific frame materials like titanium and aluminum alloy are also more difficult to adjust than others.
For this reason, it’s alway recommended to have a licensed optician make changes or adjustments to your glasses. This greatly reduces the risk of damage while also ensuring a proper frame fit.