How to Tighten Glasses at Home
It's not uncommon for reading glasses or sunglasses to become crooked or loose during everyday use.
The good news is that you may not have to make a trip to the optician to get them fixed, as you can learn how to tighten and adjust glasses at home. This step-by-step guide will show you how to improve the fit of your frames with just a few simple tools.
The Anatomy of Glasses
Whether you have prescription glasses, sunglasses, or a favourite pair of reading glasses, the key to a successful glasses adjustment is understanding all the parts. Here's a quick overview of the main components:
- The eyeglass frame provides the overall structure for the spectacles. It's usually made out of metal or plastic.
- The arms, also called temples, are the thin structures that extend from the frame to sit over your ears.
- The temple tip is the curved piece at the end of each arm. It rests behind the ear to help your spectacles stay in place.
- The hinges allow the arms to fold inward. They're often made of metal and have small screws that can be tightened or loosened for adjustment.
Preparing for Adjustments
Before you start, keep in mind that making your own frame adjustments may actually damage your glasses and void any warranty they have. It may be safer to get professional assistance at your local optical shop.
If you want to move forward, you’ll need the following tools:
- A tiny screwdriver – Always use an appropriately sized screwdriver to adjust the screws on your glasses. Most eyeglass repair kits have tiny screwdrivers that can be used on various frame types. Avoid using objects like knives or coins to help prevent damaging the screws.
- A small pair of pliers – These are useful for gently bending the arms of spectacles. They can also allow for subtle adjustments to a metal frame. Small pliers like this can be found in some higher-end spectacle repair kits or by searching online for eyeglass pliers.
- A well-lit work area – Working on a flat surface in a well-lit area can help you identify fine details and make adjustments more easily.
Assessing the Fit Before Adjusting Glasses
Begin by trying on your glasses or sunglasses in front of a mirror. Pay close attention to any areas that seem askew or feel uncomfortable.
Check if the arms fit securely behind your ears, if the temples (arms) press against the sides of your head, or if the nose piece is digging into your skin. Once you've identified the problem areas, it's time to start adjusting your glasses.
How to Tighten Glasses
One of the most common reasons for ill-fitting glasses is loose screws. Loose screws can cause the frames to slide down your face or even fall off. Fortunately, you can often fix this issue with just a screwdriver.
Hold your spectacles in one hand and insert the screwdriver into the screws. To tighten the glasses, carefully turn each screw until they feel snug. Be cautious not to over-tighten, as this could damage the frames.
How to Bend the Arms of Metal Glasses
Metal arms may need to be bent inward so your spectacles fit better behind the ears. The good news is metal frames often require only subtle adjustments.
Hold the loose or crooked glasses in one hand and use the pliers to gently bend the arms as needed.
Exercise caution when bending a wire frame, as excessive pressure can cause distortion. Make small, gradual adjustments until you achieve a better fit.
How to Bend the Arms of Plastic or Acetate Glasses
Plastic and acetate frames need to be warmed before you can bend them. You can achieve this by placing the ends of the spectacle arms (temple tips) in warm water for about 30 – 60 seconds or using a hairdryer.
Do not use boiling water or overheat the arms, as this can damage the glasses.
Once the plastic or acetate frames are warm, hold the glasses in one hand and apply gentle pressure to the arms until they become slightly flexible. Then, bend them using both hands. Allow them to cool off before trying them on again.
How to Adjust Nose Pads
The nose pad is crucial for keeping your new glasses or sunglasses in place without slipping. Many frames come with adjustable pieces that can be moved up or down for a better fit.
To adjust the nose pads, hold the spectacles in one hand and gently press on the arms connected to the nose pads. Push them up or down until they rest securely and comfortably against your nose.
What to Do When Glasses Are Too Tight
Glasses that are too tight can make for an uncomfortable fit. They may need to be loosened to help prevent unwanted side effects like headaches and discomfort.
If your glasses feel too tight on the temples, they can be adjusted with the help of pliers.
First, cover the ends of the pliers with a cloth to prevent scratching the frame.
Then, gently hold onto one arm and use the pliers to bend it outward until you achieve a comfortable fit. Repeat this process on the other side if necessary.
If the arms are too wide after the adjustment, carefully bend the arms inward. Just make sure to apply gentle pressure and take it slow.
When to Consult an Optician or Eye Doctor
While you can make minor adjustments at home, some situations require professional assistance from an optician or eye doctor:
- Damaged frames – If the frame is broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged, it's best to see a professional. They may recommend a replacement.
- Severely misaligned frames – If the frame material is significantly bent out of shape, an optician has the tools and expertise to make repairs without harming the lens or other components.
- Headaches or eyestrain – If your glasses cause vision issues such as headaches or eyestrain, an eye doctor can perform an eye exam, review your prescription, and determine if any changes to your glasses need to be made.
Enhance Your Comfort with Well-Fitting Glasses
Adjusting glasses at home may save you time and resources. With a few simple tools, you can make minor adjustments and tighten your glasses for a better fit.
It’s essential to remember, however, that attempting to adjust your frames yourself could potentially damage your glasses and void any existing warranty.
For a safer approach, consider seeking professional assistance at your nearby optical shop.
At Foster Grant, we offer a wide range of spectacles to suit various styles and budgets. We also provide helpful information on selecting the right reading glasses or sunglasses for your needs. Explore our featured products today and experience the world with greater clarity.
- Parts of an eyeglasses frame [diagram]. Readers. Accessed October 2023.*
- How to adjust your glasses at home. All About Vision. May 2020.*
- How to adjust glasses at home. Glasses.com. April 2023.*
* Like Foster Grant, Readers.com, Glasses.com, All About Vision and AAV Media, LLC are affiliates of EssilorLuxottica.