How to adjust your glasses at home
If your frames aren't fitting correctly, it might be easier to adjust your glasses at home than you think. You can fix most common frame problems yourself, but sometimes taking your glasses to an optician is the best course of action.
Of course, if your problem is with your lenses, that’s something you can't usually repair at home.
Here are four common eyeglass frame problems and how to fix them:
Problem #1: Your glasses are crooked
If one side of your frames looks higher than the other, you need to adjust the arms of your glasses — the part of the frames that hooks behind your ear.
If the right side is higher than the left: Gently bend the left arm down at the hinge or where the arm bends behind your ear.
If the left side is higher than the right: Gently bend the right arm down at the hinge or where the arm bends behind your ear.
Adjust frames a little bit at a time to avoid overcompensating and possibly damaging your glasses.
Run the arms under warm water to make them easier to adjust. Only use water as warm as you can get from the tap. Do NOT use boiling water!
Avoid running warm water over the lenses, since it can affect the lens coatings.
SEE RELATED: 5 signs your glasses don't fit
Problem #2: Your glasses pinch your nose
Glasses that pinch your nose aren't just uncomfortable, prolonged pressure can cause headaches or migraines too. How you fix this depends on your frame material.
If you wear metal frames: Simply widen the plastic nose pads using your thumbs until the frames fit comfortably.
If you wear plastic frames: Once you’ve soaked the arms of your glasses in warm water for 30-60 seconds, gently apply an upward and outward pressure on the end of the arms to get a more relaxed fit.
HELPFUL TIP: If your glasses still pinch your nose after adjustments, ask a professional optician for help.
Problem #3: Your glasses slide down your nose
Frequently pushing up your glasses because they’ve slid down your nose is annoying, but tightening your glasses is easy.
If you have metal frames: Use your thumbs to narrow the nose pads until the frames no longer slip.
If you have plastic frames: Soak the arms of your glasses for 30-60 seconds in warm water, then apply a gentle downward and inward pressure on the end of the arms. This gives a better fit behind the ear, which should tighten the overall fit and prevent slipping.
HELPFUL TIP: Summertime is prime time for glasses and sunglasses sliding down your nose. If tightening the frames doesn't do the job, try using glasses wax to stop the slippage.
Problem #4: Your glasses are too loose or too tight on your temples
Your glasses will feel very uncomfortable if your frames are too tight on your temples. On the other hand, if your frames are too loose, it can look and feel a little awkward.
Either way, you can adjust your frames at home for a more comfortable fit:
If the arms squeeze against your temples: For metal frames, use your nondominant hand to secure the lens of your glasses. With your dominant hand, apply very gentle outward pressure on the corner part of the frames located between the arm hinge and the lens. Repeat on the other side of your frames for a looser fit around your temples.
If the arms fit too loosely at your temples: Again, only for metal frames, use the same method used to loosen arms, except apply gentle inward pressure on the corner part of the frames located between the arm hinge and the lens. Repeat on the other side to tighten the fit around your temples.
HELPFUL TIP: Adjusting the temples of rimless, semi-rimless or plastic frames could break them. It’s recommended that you take these types of frames to an optician for adjustment.
SEE RELATED: Broken glasses: Repair methods and cost
When to take your glasses to a professional
It's better to have your glasses fixed by a professional if your frames are made of certain materials that resist adjustment. These materials include frames made of aluminum alloy, titanium or memory titanium, and memory plastic.
Certain styles of glasses or sunglasses are also best handled by an optician. For example, more durable frames, like those found in rimless or semi-rimless styles, can be more fragile when it comes to making adjustments.
Page published in May 2020
Page updated in November 2021