Taking care of your glasses
3 steps to long-lasting specs
8 June 2021
With glasses, even minor niggles can be surprisingly annoying. A scratched lens or misaligned frame can drive you to distraction. And wrangling a tiny screwdriver in a bid to secure the arms, or trying to locate a runaway screw, can tip the best of us over the edge! Here are 3 ways to get years of service out of those precious specs.
1. Careful cleaning
Whenever possible, clean your glasses using a microfibre cloth and lens cleaner, which you can pick up at your local pharmacy or optometrist.
While it may be handy to use a piece of clothing like your shirt, the fabric can trap small rough particles that make it more abrasive than you’d think. So keep that microfibre cloth in your glasses case for easy access.
If your only alternative is a facial tissue (much better than a dirty microfibre cloth!), you can add some liquid to the lens first – lens cleaner or warm water – before giving the lenses a gentle rub, or without liquid is fine too.
But be aware that some tissues with added moisturisers like aloe vera can leave a residue that makes smudges worse than when you started.
If there's any dirt, sand or particles on the glasses, don't forget to run them under water for a few seconds before cleaning them.
2. Safe storage
If you’re a part-time glasses wearer – maybe you only use them for reading or screen time – you may find yourself losing track of your specs.
If so, make a point of returning them to their case when not in use, or at least keep them in the same place each time (with the lenses face upwards to avoid scratches).
Keeping your glasses in a safe spot also protects them from being accidentally sat or trodden on, or being claimed as a chew toy by your pet (or young child!).
One thing you may not know, is that lens coatings can be damaged by heat. So never store your glasses next to a heater or on a car dashboard in summer.
3. Go gently
While some frames are more robust than others, none are invincible. If your glasses keep getting loose or crooked, even after your optometrist has adjusted them, gentler handling may be the answer.
One big no-no is sitting them on top of your head when they’re not on your nose (this can be a habit in people who wear single vision reading glasses).
That’s because the shape of the top of your head isn’t the same as your face when your glasses are sitting on your nose. So perching them on your head can cause the arms to splay outwards, while the nose pads can be twisted or damaged if they get caught in your hair.
Also be mindful of how you take your glasses off – try to pull them forwards off your face using both hands rather than swiping them off to one side with one hand.
If the worst happens
Accidents happen – even to the most careful of us. Having a back-up pair of specs can buy you time to get to your optometrist for repairs (if possible). If not, you’ll have to order a new pair (or two!). If you haven’t had an eye test for a while, you can book an appointment at one of our Teachers Health Centres, where you can also check out some stylish designer prescription glasses.
If your only pair of reading glasses are damaged, over-the-counter ‘readers’ from a pharmacy could tide you over. You can test them at the shop by using them to look at your phone (at the distance you’d normally use your screen) to find a pair that suits.