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How to Find the Perfect Fit for Your Glasses

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Woman rubbing her temples because her glasses don't fit properly

Even if you’ve had an eye exam to update your prescription, proper fitting glasses are essential to clear vision. Glasses or sunglasses that don’t fit correctly are not only uncomfortable, but they can also compromise your eyesight. 

To find the perfect fit, use the Right Fit Checklist and check your frame size, bridge width, arm length, and pupil position. If all these aspects of your glasses are correct, you’ll be able to wear them without hesitation. If not, visit your optometrist or optician for expert advice.

Frame Size

Opticians (professionals who specialize in glasses frames and lenses) will usually recommend frames slightly wider than your face. That said, it’s also important to make sure that your frames aren’t too big. Your glasses should not:

  • Rest on your cheeks;
  • Touch your eyebrows;
  • Extend above your eyebrows;
  • Extend more than a finger-width past your temple.

If you have any of these problems, it could be a sign that your glasses are too big. It could also be a sign that there is a problem with your glasses’ bridge width.

Bridge Width

The bridge of your glasses is the piece that rests over your nose to connect the 2 lenses. If the bridge is too wide, you could have problems with your glasses sliding down your nose and resting on your cheeks.

Nose pieces can help with bridge fit. Nose pieces are common on glasses with metal frames, but they can be added to other types of frames to improve the fit. The nose pieces are adjustable, meaning they can be customized to fit your face. They are also made of materials like silicone, which help prevent your glasses from sliding. 

An optician can help determine if nose pieces can be added to your glasses and adjust them for the perfect fit.

Arm Length

The arms of your glasses are the long pieces that rest on your ears to keep your glasses in place. They are also sometimes referred to as “temples”. The arms, or temples, curve around your ears to help prevent your glasses from moving or falling off.

If your glasses’ arms are not the right size, your glasses can move around your face and might even fall off. The arms of your glasses should reach your ears before they start to curve. If the arms curve before your ears, the arms are too short.

Pupil Position

If you look at your glasses’ prescription, you may notice a PD measurement. This measures your interpupillary distance, or the space between your eye’s pupils. Your glasses won’t give you clear vision if your pupils aren’t in the right spot.

Your pupils should line up with the middle of your glasses. This is especially important for people with astigmatism or people with presbyopia who use progressives or bifocals. Your optician has special tools they can use to make sure your pupils are in the right spot on your glasses.

Optician adjust glasses with tools for a perfect fit

Glasses Troubleshooting

Some common issues you can troubleshoot include:

  • Ear discomfort or pinching: The arms can usually be adjusted to be looser or tighter above your ears.
  • Nose pad marks or pain: If your nose pads leave marks, they’re too tight. You can gently pull the nose pads outwards or visit your optician for a fitting.
  • Slipping or moving: First, check that your bridge isn’t too wide. If it’s not the bridge, your glasses could be too heavy. Consider lighter materials like plastic or rimless glasses.

If you’re still unsure about your glasses’ fit, an optician can help. Many optometrist’s offices that sell glasses will also have an optician on staff to help you find the right glasses. An optician can help adjust your current glasses to improve the fit, or they can help you select the right glasses if it’s time for a new pair.

Written by Benjamin Teller

Dr. Teller earned his doctorate in optometry from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1996 and has been helping local residents see clearly ever since. After graduation, Dr. Teller completed an internship with the Hopewell Valley Eye Associates, as well as several externships with the National Naval Medical Center and Katzen Eye Group.

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