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How to replace nose pads on glasses & sunglasses

Person repairing broken eyeglass nose pads.

How to fix nose pads on glasses

Nose pads on glasses are the small, soft plastic cushions on the frame under the nose bridge. They sit on your nose and help your glasses fit more comfortably and securely. Fixing or adjusting the nose pads is often an easy repair you can do at home.

Times you’ll need to adjust, add, remove or replace the nose pads on your glasses or sunglasses include:

  • The glasses are uncomfortable or feel crooked.

  • The nose pads are too loose or too tight, causing your glasses to sit too high or too low on your face.

  • One or both nose pads have fallen off.

  • The nose pads are dirty, worn out or have turned yellow.

It can be helpful to have an eyeglasses repair kit because these kits usually have small screwdrivers, replacement screws and a magnifying glass. Some also have replacement nose pads. You can buy an eyeglasses repair kit online or at a pharmacy or retail optical store.

Before adjusting or replacing nose pads, be sure to have a cloth handy to wrap around the lenses. This will help prevent any lens damage or scratches.

Follow these steps to safely adjust your nose pads:

  • Wrap the lens with the cloth.

  • Hold your glasses by the bridge, which is the piece in the middle of the frame that sits on your nose.

  • Grip one nose pad with your thumb and forefinger.

  • If your glasses feel tight or sit too high on your nose, gently push one nose pad away from the center and slightly toward the temple, which is the arm of the frame. Repeat with the other nose pad. 

  • If your glasses slip down your face, move one nose pad toward the middle of the frame. Repeat with the other nose pad. You can also use nose pad pliers to move the nose pads.

  • After you’ve moved them, check to make sure both nose pads are in the same position. You can do this by holding your glasses at eye level. Make any adjustments as needed.

  • Put on your glasses to see how they feel. Make sure the nose pads are flat on your nose.

  • Make any adjustments needed to get a comfortable fit. 

Remember to be gentle so you don’t break off the pad arms that hold the nose pads in place.

READ MORE about adjusting your eyeglasses

How to replace nose pads on glasses

Eyeglass nose pad replacement is also something you can do at home.

Make sure you have replacement nose pads before you start. You can buy nose pads at your eye doctor’s office, in a retail optical store or drugstore, or online. Choose replacements that match the size, shape and style of the pads that are currently on your glasses. 

  • Measure the length of the pad in millimeters. In general, nose pads are between 6 mm and 24 mm.

  • Note the shape of the nose pads on your glasses. They come in several shapes, such as circle, teardrop, rectangle, oval, square and D-shape. Buy replacements that are the same shape.

  • Determine what your nose pads are made of. They could be plastic, rubber, silicone, glass or ceramic. 

  • Be sure to buy new nose pads that attach to your frames the same way the current nose pads do. Most styles screw in, snap on (also called push in or click in) or slide on.

Here’s how to change the screw-in type of nose pads: 

  • Gather your small screwdriver, replacement screw, a cloth and the new nose pad. 

  • Wrap the lens with the cloth.

  • Hold your glasses by the bridge.

  • Unscrew the nose pad you are replacing and remove it.

  • Put the new nose pad on the pad arm. The hole in the nose pad should line up with the hole in the pad arm. If your nose pads are D-shaped, the curved side faces you and the flat side faces away. 

  • Put the screw in the pad arm and nose pad. You may need tweezers for this. 

  • Turn the screwdriver clockwise to tighten the screw enough so the nose pad stays in place.

Here’s what to do if your glasses have snap-on nose pads:

  • Similar to screw-in nose pads, you need to measure the current nose pads and choose the same size and shape.

  • Hold your glasses and turn them so the nose pads are facing up.

  • Put your thumb behind the pad arm of the nose pad you’re removing.

  • Get something flat, such as a butter knife, and gently put it between the old nose pad and your thumb.

  • Carefully twist the knife to unsnap the nose pad.

  • Snap the new nose pad onto the pad arm. As with screw-in nose pads, the curved side of D-shaped pads should face you, and the flat side faces away. 

Follow these steps to replace slide-on nose pads:

  • Hold your glasses by the bridge, using your index finger to support the pad arm of the nose pad you’re replacing.

  • Carefully slide the old nose pad off.

  • Slide the new nose pad onto the pad arm. 

READ MORE about eyeglass repair 

How to add nose pads to glasses

The majority of metal eyeglass and sunglass frames are made with adjustable nose pads, and most plastic frames have built-in nose pads. It is possible to add nose pads to plastic frames:

  • Use adhesive nose pads You can buy adhesive nose pads in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to stick on to your frame. You can replace them as needed.

  • Take your glasses to an optician It’s best to take your glasses to an optician if you want adjustable nose pads added to plastic frames. There are several steps involved, including sanding the frames and drilling holes for the pad arms. An optician will have the tools and materials needed to do this job the right way. Plus, there are risks involved with adding adjustable nose pads to a frame. You will void any warranty the frame has, and there is a possibility of damage when altering an existing frame.

When to get your nose pads fixed by a professional

Even though you can fix and replace nose pads yourself, there are times when you should let an expert handle the repairs. For example, if you’re concerned you could break the pad arms, scratch the lenses or damage the frames by replacing the nose pads yourself, take your glasses to a professional.

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