Extreme close-up of a young woman wearing eyeglasses

Secrets for Long-Lasting, Clean & Comfortable Glasses!

As too many of us know, glasses can easily become damaged with regular use and can be a constant source of frustration if they become scratched or ill-fitting.  Our Dispensing Optician Amy shares her top tips for keeping them looking and feeling their best!

Keeping Glasses Fitting Comfortably

  • Glasses should sit comfortably where you want them and not slip (unless you’ve got reading glasses and want them on the end of your nose to look over them).

  • Professionally fitted glasses should fit you well on collection, but sometimes a day or two later when they’re ‘bedded in’ you may start to notice minor issues with the comfort or fit.  They can also loosen or become bent with time, especially if they are frequently put on and taken off.

  • Rather than trying to adjust them yourself, come in and see the Dispensing Optician or Optical Assistant.  They’re highly trained to pinpoint exactly what does and doesn’t need adjusting; trying to adjust them yourself can make minor problems worse in the long run.  You can pop in whenever you like for a free spectacle service, we don’t mind at all!

  • Try to take glasses off with both hands.  Using just one hand tends to pull the frame out of line as they are removed and can lead to splayed sides, causing the glasses to loosen and slip.  It also puts extra strain on the screws and joints so can shorten the life of a frame.

  • The same can happen if you wear them on top of your head so try to avoid doing this!  Special cords and chains can be a better option but may strain the joints if they get caught.

  • When you’re not wearing your glasses, the best thing to do is keep them in a hard case to protect them.  Take care when putting them in the case not to ‘force’ the lid down on them, they should fit easily without force.  If they don’t, the glasses need adjusting or you need a bigger case!

  • Store glasses away from extremes of heat: don’t leave them on a sunny dashboard, for example, as this can affect lens coatings and distort them.

  • Nose-pads can often become discoloured in time, as they react with natural acids produced by the skin.  Having the nose-pads replaced is a simple and inexpensive job and keeps glasses looking new, as well as improving comfort.

  • If your pads dig in and leave marks, we can replace them with very soft silicone pads to ease the pressure on the nose.  A comfort bridge can also be better: this spreads the weight of the frame across the entire bridge of the nose.

  • It is normal for the screws in the frame to loosen in time, and for glasses to become more slack, especially with frequent handling.  We recommend that you pop in regularly (every 6 months is ideal) to have a free ‘service’ on your glasses and get things tightened up.  It’s especially worthwhile doing this if you’re off on holiday so you don’t have any unexpected surprises, like lenses falling out while you’re away!

  • If the screws in your frame tend to be particularly susceptible to coming loose, the thread in the joint may have worn away.  We can replace screws and use special optical glue to bind the screw into the frame & solve the problem.

  • It is always advisable to have a spare pair of glasses to your current prescription, just in case anything should happen to your usual pair.  It’s not until you’re stuck without them that you realise how reliant you are on your specs!  In much of Europe it is a legal requirement to carry a spare set for driving, we think this is good advice.  If you’d like a quote for a spare set, contact us.

Looking After Your Lenses

  • Most modern lenses are made of plastic, which is about half the weight of glass and is much safer to wear as it doesn’t shatter.  To protect plastic lenses we always advise a hard ‘scratch-resistant’ coating on the lens; being a softer material they can tend to scratch more easily.

  • Always put glasses down with the lenses facing up.  Putting them down on the lens will cause a line of scratching right down the centre, in your line of vision.

  • Keep your glasses by themselves when not in use, don’t store them next to anything like loose change or in pockets as this can damage them.

  • All lenses need regular cleaning, whether coated or plain, to maintain good vision and keep them looking good.

  • Always use a specially designed microfibre cloth for lens cleaning (they come with your glasses and are inexpensive to purchase).  Using tissue, clothing or other material will result in fine scratches, which degrade the lens surface over time.  Scratches cannot be polished out of lenses as this alters the prescription, so caring for them well is really the best way to go!

  • Make sure your microfibre cloth is clean; they can be put in the wash (but not with fabric softener).  Using a dirty cloth will at best just smear dirt across the lens surface rather than removing it, and at worst may scratch the lens if there are any particles trapped on the cloth.

  • Using a good optical lens spray is the best way to get them really clean (your optician can recommend one).  Some sprays are designed to be anti-static, so they repel dirt and moisture away from the lens surface.

  • If you have an anti-glare coating on your lenses, ask about having this upgraded next time.  The best quality coatings are also toughened, moisture-repellent and dirt-repellent, helping to maintain a really clear lens surface.

  • Plain water can be used along with your microfibre cloth, if you have no lens spray.  You should avoid using any detergents such as soapy water or washing up liquid: these are too strong and can strip the surface of the lens.  Try not to use extremely hot or cold water as this can also damage lenses and coatings.

  • Take glasses off if you are going to apply hairspray, as this sticks to the lens surface and can cause irreversible damage.  Always clean your lenses if they have been exposed to sea water, salt spray or any chemicals.  Certain strong chemicals can ‘melt’ lenses!

  • Try to use safety spectacles or sports spectacles where appropriate to protect your lenses and your eyes, e.g. if there are airborne particles, flying objects or chemicals.  We have a great range of both!  It can be a good idea to use an old pair of glasses for ‘rough’ work such as gardening and simple DIY.

Good Cleaning Technique!

  • Hold the glasses around the edge, around the lens you aren’t going to clean.  This helps avoid stress on the bridge and joints.

  • Spray a mist of solution on to the lens from about 15 cm/6 inches away.

  • Gently rub the solution around the lens in circles, using your index finger on one side of the lens and thumb on the other (with the microfibre cloth).

  • Use a fresh area of the cloth to wipe the lens from the bridge side to the temple side, lifting the cloth and repeating until all solution and dirt has been removed.  Vigorous rubbing back and forth with the cloth can damage the lens if something becomes trapped under the cloth, and encourages dirt to be smeared over the surface rather than removed.

  • Use a damp soft cloth to gently wipe the rest of the frame.  Again don’t use any detergents or solvents on the frame.  Cotton buds can be used for tight spots.

  • A thorough clean once or twice a week should be enough, but carry a small clean microfibre cloth in your case for a daily once-over.

If you would like any more advice or a free specs service, just pop in and see us!

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