Can I adjust my glasses to get the perfect fit?

When you buy a new pair of glasses, it’s not uncommon to assume that they will arrive perfect straight out of the box. For prescription glasses this should normally be the case, whereas for plano (zero power) glasses, it shouldn’t be as much of an issue.

That’s because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to prescription glasses. Your optician will have calculated the exact distance between your pupils, the edges for the lens and where they should sit on your face. So, if your glasses aren’t sitting correctly, the chances are that your prescription isn’t going to serve you as intended.

Dispensing optician and optical advisor at Feel Good Contacts, Khuram Sarwar offers advice on how to tighten poorly fitting glasses:

   “If your glasses are not fitting correctly, it would be best to seek the help of an optician in person.

“However, opticians aren’t always available to everyone 24/7. If you buy your glasses online and require an adjustment to obtain a better fit, it is possible to adjust your glasses at home, just do so with safety in mind. Remember to pay attention to the type of material you are working with and be mindful of how your glasses feel on your face as you go along.”

How to adjust your glasses at home

1. Identify the problem

Before you start adjusting your glasses, you need to decide which adjustments need to be made. You can usually tell straight away by the way your glasses look and feel.

2. Adjust slightly

Making small adjustments is safer as it will put less strain on the materials and reduces the risk of breakage.

3. Try on

Fixing glasses is a trial-and-error challenge. Each time you make an adjustment, check to see if your glasses fit better or worse than before your adjustment.

4. Repeat

If you are still experiencing poorly fitting glasses, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 until you are happy with the fit of your glasses.

What do I do if my glasses are…?

Crooked

Khuram Sarwar says: “When glasses look crooked, it’s usually because the glasses are actually loose. To fix this problem you will need to adjust the glasses at the temples and the hinge points of the frame.”

The temples (sides of the glasses) may become unbalanced and bent over time. When they do, they tilt to one side, making it uncomfortable or difficult to see through your glasses.

By applying a mild heat to the frame temple and then bending the temple tips towards each other you should be able to achieve a more snug fit.

Using a hair dryer as a source of heat for 20-30 seconds or running your glasses under warm water for 30-60 seconds are both cheap and easily available options to soften the material of your glasses.

Khuram Sarwar says: “If you lay your glasses upside down on a flat surface, both of the temple arms should rest evenly without looking bent. If one side is sitting correctly and the other is sitting too low for example, you would need to adjust the side sitting lower and bend this arm downwards at the hinge point until it balances equally on both sides.”

To fix the problem, make note of whichever side sits highest, and bend the opposite temple arm down at the hinge or where it bends behind your ear.

  • If the left lens is higher than the right lens: bend the right temple down.
  • If the right lens is higher than the left lens: bend the left temple down.

*If your glasses are made from plastic, it is best to seek assistance from your optician as the material in thicker frames may need to be more thoroughly heated in order to adjust them.

Too tight or sliding down your face  

Khuram Sarwar says: “When glasses feel too tight or you find them sliding down your face frequently, this is a problem with the curve of the temple tip. Either the gradient is too long and straight, so there is not enough grip behind the ear, or it’s too steep, making it too tight and uncomfortable.”

To alter the angle of your temple grips, you may:

  1. Apply mild heat to the temple tips by running them under warm water or heating them with a hair dryer (as above)
  2. Bending them into place gently, a little at a time.
  • For glasses that are too tight: bend the temple tip upwards to relax the curve.
    • For glasses that are too loose: bend the temple tip downwards to add curve.

 One lens is closer to the eye than the other

Khuram Sarwar says: “When the distances between each lens and your eyes are uneven, this means that one temple is too far or too tight against your head.”

To fix the problem:

  1. Either heat the plastic on the temple or loosen the tiny screws on the hinges.
  2. Adjust the temples into place.
    • If your left lens is closer to your eye than your right lens: either bend the left temple arm in or the right temple arm out.
    • If your right lens is closer to your eye than your left lens: either bend the right temple arm in or the left temple arm out.

3. Hold the temple in desired place and tighten the hinge screws or wait for the plastic to cool.

Pinching your nose or sitting too high/low

Adjustable nose pads look like small plastic or metal pillows attached to your glasses by a bendable metal piece. As they are adjustable, over time they can move out of place. If your nose pads are out of place, simply tilt them back into a position that sits most comfortably on your nose.

  1. If your glasses are pinching the nose: push the nose pads away from your nose (make the gap wider) until they feel comfortable.
  2. When your glasses are sitting too low: push the nose pads closer together (make the gap narrower) until they feel comfortable.

Khuram Sarwar says: “If you find that any of these fixed bridge styles do not fit your nose bridge comfortably or well then you may require a different frame with fitting dimensions that suit you best as there is not much that can be done to resolve this issue. However, the best option would be to seek the assistance of a qualified optician to see what the best option is.”

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David is a 28-year-old struggling artist who enjoys planking, upcycling and binge-watching boxed sets.