How to Care for Your Eyeglasses
Glasses have come a long way since they were first invented in the 13th century. With modern technology like plastic lenses and scratch-resistant coatings, they’re more durable and easier to care for than ever before.
That being said, eyeglasses are far from indestructible or undamageable. And it doesn’t take much to turn a formerly perfect pair into one that’s almost unwearable. A large or inconveniently placed chip or scratch can be extremely frustrating and distracting, while bent frames can make wearing your glasses uncomfortable or even distort your vision.
Your glasses are a big investment in your health and happiness. Caring for them properly can help protect your lenses and frames from sudden, accidental damage as well as long-term wear and tear. With a few smart choices and just a bit of luck, your current pair may give you many years of comfortable, crystal-clear vision.
How to Clean Your Glasses
Scratch-resistant lens coatings are great, but it would be a huge mistake to rely on them to do 100% of the work. Cleaning your glasses regularly—and properly—will not only keep your vision sharp and clear, but also reduce the risk of distracting and unsightly scratches.
- Wash your hands first. You want to avoid transferring dirt and grime to your lenses.
- Rinse first. “Dry cleaning” your glasses is more likely to cause scratching as you drag debris particles across the lens.
- Use an alcohol-free lens cleaning solution. You can get these as a spray bottle from our office or just about any pharmacy. If your glasses have an anti-reflective coating, make sure the cleaning solution is safe for them—it should say right on the bottle. While lukewarm tap water is fine in a pinch, lens cleaning solutions are specially formulated to clean and protect.
- DO NOT use any other household cleaners or products (ammonia, window cleaner, etc.), and DO NOT use saliva, as this can damage the lenses.
- Hold the bridge while you clean. This avoids stressing the hinges.
Wipe with a lint-free microfiber cloth. Cleaning cloths come with almost every pair of glasses, and should be replaced when lost. DO NOT use paper towels, hand towels, your shirt, or other household products to clean your glasses, as they can easily scratch the lenses due to their textured surfaces.
How to Store Your Glasses
The way you store your glasses when you aren’t wearing them can make a big difference. Improper storage can lead to scratching, bent frames, stressed joints, and more.
The best advice here is to simply store your glasses in a hard case whenever you aren’t wearing them. A hard case not only protects your glasses from getting smushed or bent, but also reduces their exposure to dust and other environmental particles.
Store or place the glasses lenses up, with only the temples in direct contact with the table surface of bottom of the case. Again, this helps minimize the risk of scratches or stress on the rims.
A few other quick storage tips:
- Never leave glasses in a hot area, like the dashboard of a car, especially if you have plastic frames. Extreme heat can warp the frames and sometimes even damage the lenses themselves—and a hot car can easily reach those temperatures in direct sunlight.
- Don’t store glasses on the sink, or any place where it’s at risk of being exposed to harsh chemicals or corrosive substances.
- Don’t toss your glasses into your pocket, your handbag, your glove compartment, etc. without being protected by a hard case.
How to Wear (and Remove) Your Glasses
It’s not just what you do to your glasses when you’re not wearing them that matters. The way that you wear them, put them on, and take them off can help you maximize the lifespan of your frames, too.
- Use both hands to put your glasses on and take them off. While whipping your glasses off with one hand looks cool on a movie screen, you can easily bend the frames and temples and wear out the hinges this way. To put on, grab the front of the frames or the arms near the hinge and bring your glasses straight back, then lower them gently onto your nose. To remove, grab the arms near the hinge, Hold your glasses along the temples near the hinge, raise the temples, and slide them straight forward.
- Don’t push your glasses up to the top of your head. Although this might be fashionable (and acceptable) for a cheap pair of sunglasses, you shouldn’t do it with glasses you care about protecting. The top of your head tends to be wider than your face, and pushing up your glasses can bend the frames and loosen the hinges.
Don’t push your glasses up at the bridge. This can warp the bridge, especially if you have wire frame glasses. Again, use both hands.
Trouble with Your Glasses? Let Us Know!
Your eyeglasses are designed to be comfortable and help you see the world clearly—without pain, headaches, or distortion. But they’re also precision instruments, and even mild wear or misalignments can have a noticeable, negative impact on their performance.
If you’re having any problems with your current pair, let us know! If you need a new prescription, a comprehensive eye exam with one of our ophthalmologists will help you sort it out. And if you just need a new set of frames, or need your current frames adjusted or repaired, our optical department has you covered.
To set up an appointment with us at our Zeeland office, just call today at (616) 772-2020, or connect with us online.