Glasses are designed to be comfortable and unintrusive when sitting on a wearer’s face. Because many people use eyewear for the majority of each day, it is vital for frames to fit correctly in order to naturally integrate with a person’s lifestyle. Improper balance on the face can lead to more than just discomfort: crooked lenses can cause blurred vision, loose grips might send the glasses to the ground, and squeezing temples can leave marks in the skin.
Working directly with an optician is the best way to achieve the most optimal fit possible for your glasses. Everyone has their own preferences and head shape, meaning precise measurements are the keys to comfortable eyewear. Ideally, an optician will measure your pupillary distance (PD), your head width, and your temple length to determine the best fit.
Pupillary distance represents the gap between your eyes, usually measured in millimeters. Specifically, it measures the distance between both pupils to gauge the size of your glasses. Good PD measurements can help the optician adjust the length of the glasses bridge, centering the lenses directly in front of the eyes for the intended visual acuity. PD is one of the most important factors to consider when fitting frames for this reason. Head width and temple length measurements further complement the PD to craft a pair of glasses that are the right size for the wearer.
When figuring out if your glasses fit correctly, pay close attention to any movements of your glasses while tilting your head around. Do they slip? Are they too tight? Do you see out of them okay, even while looking up and down? Try keeping your head steady and moving your eyes to ensure the lenses are accurately spaced apart. You can even use a mirror to get an outside perspective of your frames in action.
Be wary of using online “try-on” apps to estimate how comfortable your prospective frames will be. While these tools are great for checking how a new pair of frames might appear on your face, they’re unable to convey a proper fit. As previously mentioned, enlist the help of an in-store optician for the best possible results and always see what a pair of glasses feels like on your face before buying.
Worried that your current frames aren’t fitting the way you like? No need to panic - an optician can make many adjustments to tweak the shape of your glasses, including altering the frame itself, the temples, and the temple end-pieces using a heat lamp. Attached nose pads (but not integrated nose pads) are also capable of being adjusted and replaced if necessary.
Keep in mind that a new pair of glasses will take time to adjust to. This is especially true if your lens prescription recently changed. It can take some time for your eyes to be “trained” to take advantage of peering through new lenses, so be patient and wait a couple of weeks before making any final decisions on the fit and function. Progressive lenses are even trickier to adapt to, as the eyes are required to look through certain parts of the lenses to either see at a distance or close up. Some people find it immensely difficult to grow accustomed to progressives, while the skill comes naturally to others.
Caring, cleaning, and maintaining your glasses
Even the best fit can’t save glasses from dirty conditions. Caring, cleaning, and maintaining your glasses is equally as important for the longevity, accuracy, and comfort of your frames (not to mention sanitization).
As a rule, always take care to store your glasses when you’re not using them. Cases made of hard plastic are often a better option than soft covers, as they offer much better protection from impacts and general handling. Microfiber cloths also make for great traveling companions when you take your glasses on-the-go and can efficiently remove dust or grime from the lenses (some people even use separate cloths: one for their lenses, and one for their frames, as the temples can become greasy through constant rubbing with the head). Pre-packaged single-use wipes are also a good option. You can even find special lens cleaning sprays with traces of alcohol that gently removes the oils from the surface of the lenses, thereby eliminating any footholds for dirt and grease to cling to. A quick swipe with a microfiber cloth after a small spritz is usually the best way to remove smudges and other unwanted spots.
For the more technologically inclined wearers, ultrasonic eyewear cleaners are also available for those wanting a deep cleaning of their glasses. These machines tend to cost less than $50, and a wash only takes about 20 to 30 seconds. Ultrasonic cleaners use a special reusable solution in combination with ultrasonic waves to clean every part of your glasses, from the frames to the hinges. However, it pays to use caution with these cleaners; if your lenses or frames are older or cheaper, the mechanical bath might cause peeling or blistering. Likewise, if the frequency of your ultrasonic cleaner is under 35 kHz, the pressure surges have the potential to directly damage your glasses. When using at least 35 kHz, the oscillations are far less likely to harm the lenses or frame.
If foggy lenses are another hurdle you face, you might consider trying an anti-fog lens cleaning solution. These agents - usually containing an alcohol such as isopropanol - work by reducing the surface tension of water on your lenses, disallowing moisture to build on the surface. Some people have tried vinegar with distilled water and rubbing alcohol to create their own anti-fog solution (just make sure to wash your lenses with soap water first). Make sure to comment below to share the cleaning method that works best for you!
If you find yourself strapped for good commercial cleaning products, another great home remedy involves utilizing dish soap. Using distilled water, simply wipe a drop of store-bought dish soap across your frames and lenses, being careful not to press too hard or damage any of the smaller components. Rinse your glasses with more distilled water to get the soap off, then dry them using either a linen or cotton towel. While this method may not be as effective as some of the options already mentioned, it can get the job done when you’re in a pinch. Remember to wash your microfiber cloths occasionally to avoid rubbing stray dirt particles into your lenses, which can easily lead to scratches and smudges down the line!
With proper fit and care, your glasses can perform their job adequately and allow you room to personalize them, keep them longer, and ultimately enjoy them.