How to Repair Eyeglasses
Maintaining and repairing eyeglasses is an essential skill for anyone who relies on these aids for their daily vision needs. It can be incredibly frustrating when your glasses break or become loose, particularly if you don’t have a spare pair or if you’re in a location where it’s not easy to get them professionally repaired. This guide will provide a comprehensive look at how you can repair eyeglasses yourself.
Eyeglasses, though seemingly simple, consist of several parts: lenses, frames (including the bridge and rims), temples, temple tips, nose pads, and tiny screws that hold everything together. The type of repair required depends on which part of your glasses has been damaged or has worn out.
Loose or Missing Screws
The tiny screws that hold the frames and temples together often become loose and can sometimes fall out. If a screw has merely loosened, use a mini or eyeglass screwdriver (available in eyeglass repair kits) to gently tighten it. Make sure not to over-tighten, as this could strip the screw thread or damage the frames.
If you’ve lost a screw, you can find replacements in eyeglass repair kits, which are typically sold in pharmacies or online. If you can’t immediately find a replacement screw, a temporary solution is to thread a small piece of wire or even a toothpick through the screw hole and trim it down to size. Remember, this is a temporary fix, and you should replace the wire with the appropriate screw as soon as possible.
Frames can bend out of shape if they are sat on, dropped, or simply worn for an extended period. Metal frames can often be gently bent back into shape by hand, but this must be done very carefully to avoid breaking them. Start by laying your glasses down on a flat surface to see where they’re misaligned. Then, with a gentle touch, bend them back towards their original shape.
For plastic frames, it’s a little more complicated as they’re likely to break if you try to bend them cold. You can use a hairdryer to gently warm the frames until they’re slightly malleable, then carefully bend them back into shape. Don’t overheat the frames, or they could warp. Always remember to let them cool before trying them on.
Minor scratches on lenses can be annoying and impair vision. While deep scratches likely mean lens replacement, you can try a few home remedies for minor scratches.
One method involves applying a thin coat of non-abrasive toothpaste to the scratch, gently rubbing in a circular motion with a soft cloth for a few seconds, then rinsing and drying the lens. This method often works because the mild abrasive properties of toothpaste can smooth out the scratches.
Another method involves a mixture of baking soda and water. Combine these ingredients to form a paste, apply it to the lens, and then rinse off after rubbing gently with a soft cloth.
Remember, these methods are only for minor scratches. For deeper scratches or cracks, it’s important to consult with an eye care professional to replace your lenses.
If a temple breaks, a temporary repair can be made using adhesive tape. However, this is not ideal for long-term use and may damage the glasses further. The best solution would be to have the glasses repaired professionally or replace the broken temple if a spare is available.
Adjusting Nose Pads
Nose pads can become uncomfortable if they’re misaligned or if they’ve worn out. You can adjust metal nose pads by gently bending them until they fit comfortably. However, plastic nose pads usually can’t be adjusted. If the nose pads have worn out, they can often be replaced. Eyeglass repair kits often include spare nose pads, and it’s just a matter of removing the old ones and screwing on the new ones. It’s essential to handle these delicate components gently, as they can easily break if forced.
If your lenses are severely scratched, cracked, or shattered, you’ll need to replace them. You might also want to replace your lenses if your prescription has changed. In either case, you’ll need to get new lenses from an optometrist or an online glasses retailer. When you receive the new lenses, make sure they’re the correct size for your frames. You can pop the old lenses out by gently pushing from the inside out. To insert the new lenses, do the reverse – place one edge in the frame and gently push the rest of the lens into place.
Maintaining Your Eyeglasses
Regular maintenance of your glasses can help prevent damage and prolong their life. Here are some tips for keeping your glasses in top shape:
Clean your glasses regularly with a microfiber cloth and a cleaner designed for eyeglasses. Don’t use household cleaners, as they can damage the lens coating.
When not wearing your glasses, keep them in a protective case to prevent them from getting scratched or damaged. Don’t place them lens-down on any surface.
Try to handle your glasses by the bridge, not the temples. This prevents the frames from getting misaligned and loosening the screws.
Avoid exposing your glasses to heat (like leaving them in a car on a hot day), as this can warp the frames and damage the lenses.
Have your glasses professionally adjusted at least once a year. Over time, it’s natural for glasses to become a bit misaligned. A professional can adjust the frames and ensure they’re fitting properly.
Remember, while there are many repairs and adjustments you can do at home, some things are best left to the professionals. If your glasses need a major repair, or if you’re not comfortable doing the repair yourself, take them to an optometrist or a professional eyeglass repair shop. It might cost more, but you’ll have the peace of mind that your glasses are being handled by a professional.
Eyeglasses are more than a fashion accessory; they’re an essential tool for many people. Knowing how to do basic repairs can save you time and money, and it can also help you keep your glasses in the best possible condition for as long as possible. Whether you’re tightening a screw, adjusting the nose pads, or replacing a lens, with a little patience and care, you can keep your eyeglasses functioning well and looking great.