Most people get their eyes checked and purchase new glasses once every two years or so if you think about it, it’s really only $1 a day (or less) that you’ve spent to ensure you can see properly and are protecting your eyes from day to day elements (ie. blue light or UV depending on the lens material). So you’ve spent a couple hundred (or several) on a new pair of glasses. How do you care for them so they’ll last the entire two or more years you’ll be wearing them for? There are a lot of common mistakes people make that decrease the lifespan of a pair of glasses. Of course there are also other factors like quality of the frame and lenses to begin with, but there are some basic practices that will help in all cases.
1. When removing your glasses from your face, do no pull on one side and on one temple (arm of the frames). When this is done to the frame on a repeated basis, it stretches out the one temple, weakens the one hinge, and will bend your frame out of shape. It is best to use both hands and pull the glasses straight off the face without pulling it to either side. This way, there isn’t any extra pressure being put on the hinges and the temples will stay straight (or in the original adjustment you had done on them so they sit on your face nicely).
2. Do not leave your glasses in extreme heat or cold. Like any material, the plastic or metal that your frame is made out of will expand and contract. This will cause the frame to warp and bend into awkward shapes causing you to require frequent adjustments. Cheap plastics and metals will warp a lot more than the higher quality materials, but it is best to just keep them out of the extremes. The coatings on the lenses can also be affected and cause crazing sooner than expected (heat more so than cold – crazing is the breakdown of lens coatings).
3. Use only microfibre cleaning cloths to wipe the lenses. It’s a good habit to carry a cleaning cloth with you if possible just so that you aren’t forced into using your shirt or tissue if your lenses get dirty. Tissues are likely to cause micro-scratches on the lenses as they are quite fibrous and clothing can also cause scratches depending on the material. If you do use these materials to clean your lenses, it will void the warranty you have on the anti-scratch coating because it is never advised you use these materials to clean your glasses.
4. Stick to specific glasses cleaning solution. It is best to use these solutions to preserve the life of your lenses and to not void the warranty on them. These solutions are made specifically to be streak free and to not damage the coatings or lenses. Once you spray your glasses, use the microfibre cloth to wipe them dry. Occasionally you can use warm soap and water to remove grease if the solution is not working but ensure the water is not too hot and that the soap is gentle hand soap. Another option is to bring your glasses into your local optical and ask them to clean your glasses using their ultrasonic machine (this will get everything!). Although you may be charged a fee if you did not purchase your glasses from the optical.
5. Avoid sleeping in glasses or putting them on top of your head. Doing both of these will change the shape of the glasses so they don’t fit your face quite as optimally. If you fall asleep on your back and don’t go on your side it’s less likely any warping will occur. Our heads are usually wider than our faces, so if the glasses sit on our heads long enough, they will slowly widen and no longer sit nicely on our faces. Both of these will simply require more adjustments to bring them back to the original position. Keep in mind that frequent adjustments will eventually weaken the frame and it may not hold it’s shape as well later on.
6. Always store the glasses in their case. This is more for when you’re travelling or don’t wear your glasses all the time. Hard cases are always the best protection to ensure they don’t get squished or scratched in your luggage or purse while in transit.
7. If in doubt, bring them in. If you ever have questions or concerns regarding adjustments or repairs, always bring them into your local optical. They will have all the tools and be able to tell you if the glasses are repairable or not. It is also best to have the adjustments done professionally to ensure you don’t break the frame in the process (if they break while being adjusted with the optician and are still under warranty then you get a new frame as long as you return to where you got the glasses). Other opticals other than where you originally got the glasses will not be able to warranty your glasses. Also, if they break while you are attempting to adjust them yourself, that will void your warranty as well.
Hopefully these tips will help you improve the longevity of your glasses. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below or come visit our optical in Burnaby, BC!