How to Tighten Glasses at Your Own Home

Posted by Paul Kim on

You wear your glasses daily, so if they don’t fit perfectly, you’re going to notice. Ill-fitting glasses can become the bane of your existence as you continually push them up, pull them away from your ears, or try to ensure the lenses are equal distance from your eyes. 

Sometimes, you need professional help, but many times, the adjustments your glasses need can be done at home. Instead of making a trip to your optometrist, the team at Stoggles has the tips and tricks you need to get a great fit without leaving your living room. 

Before you start, you will need an eyeglass repair kit. These are easily located at any store or online. You can probably have one delivered to your door in the time it takes you to read this article. 

Anatomy of Eyeglasses

Surgeons don’t operate on parts of the body they aren’t familiar with, and you shouldn’t start bending and tinkering with your eyeglasses before you learn how they’re made and what’s holding them together. 

Most eyeglasses have metal (wire) or plastic frames. Here are the different parts of your eyeglasses, some of which can be adjusted for a more custom fit. 


Rims are also referred to as eye wires. These are the metal or plastic parts that circle around your glasses. These hold your lenses in place. Rims are thick or thin, depending on stylistic preferences. Occasionally, the rims and lenses look like one piece. Rimless or semi-rimless glasses frames are best adjusted by an eye care professional like an optician. 


The lenses of your glasses are the reason you have them in the first place. The lenses are what carry your specific glasses prescription that helps you see more clearly. There are numerous different types of lenses and lens materials. 

Safety glasses, for instance, usually feature polycarbonate lenses, which are naturally UV-blocking and shatter-resistant. Bifocals or multifocal lenses are made of specialized glass treated to help correct both far and short-sighted vision. 

Nose Pad

The nose pads are the parts that touch either side of your nose. Most metal frames have separate plastic nose pads, while plastic frames have built-in nose pads that extend from the plastic rims. 

Nose pads provide comfort but can also become uncomfortable if they are too tight or too loose. 

Nose Pad Arm

On metal-rimmed glasses, the arms that hold the nose pads in place and attach them to the rims are called pad arms. The pad arms are usually pliable so that the glasses can be adjusted to fit your face more securely. 


The portion of your glasses that go over your nose and bear the weight of your glasses is called the bridge. It connects the rim of one lens to the rim of the other, but the bridge shouldn’t touch your face. 

Top Bar

A top bar is a bar that sits above the bridge. It connects the top part of the rim of one lens to the top part of the other. The top bar is a purely stylistic piece that you’ll most often find on aviators or trendy glasses. 


The temples are the arms of your glasses that extend from each lens past the sides of your head and rest behind your ears. The temples can be metal or plastic, and the width depends on personal style and preference. 

Temple Tips

The temple tips the protective ends of the temple arms that fit closely around the ear. If you have metal frames, the tips are usually covered in plastic for added comfort and fit. Plastic frames are usually not coated. 


The hinges connect the temples to the rims and allow them to fold inward and outward. Many glasses have “spring” hinges which allow them to hyperextend, reducing the risk of a temple snapping off or becoming too loose.  


The screws in your glasses are small metal pieces of hardware that connect the temples to the hinge. You may also have screws that connect your nose pads to the pad arms, but it usually isn’t necessary to adjust those except when replacing your nose pads. 

The screws can easily become loose, and a seasoned glasses-wearer knows the impossibility of finding a hinge screw once it has fallen from your glasses. The best option is to keep a few replacement screws on hand for emergencies. You will probably need some very small screws and an equally small screwdriver.

End Pieces

The end pieces connect the outer rims (the frame) of your glasses to the hinges that hold in the temples. 

Side and Top Shields

If you have safety glasses, your frames will have side and top shields that are attached to the rims. These offer protection to your eyes in areas where ordinary glasses are vulnerable, reducing the risk of sustaining an eye injury. 

How To Tell if Your Glasses Fit Properly

Most optometrists use a three-point rule to determine whether or not your glasses fit properly. This fit check is also referred to as the “fitting triangle.”

For proper fit, glasses should only touch your face on three points:

  1. Both sides of your nose (where each nose pad touches)
  2. The top of your right ear
  3. The top of the left ear

If your glasses don’t touch your face in these places, or if they touch in multiple other places, your glasses don’t fit you properly and need to be adjusted. 

Normally, you’ll know it’s time to adjust them because ill-fitting glasses usually lead to fit-related problems, like headaches.

Adjusting Your Glasses: Problems and Solutions

Glasses that slip, slide, or sit sideways on your face are a nuisance and a distraction that can make everyday tasks (like driving) unsafe.

Here, we tackle the most common eyeglass fitting problems and tell you how to fix them easily:

Problem: Your Glasses Are Too Loose Around the Nose

You’re constantly pushing them up, and they’re constantly sliding down. It’s a never-ending cycle that can quite literally cause chaffing on the bridge of your nose. 

Solution: Adjust the nose pads. For metal-rimmed glasses, you’ll be able to gently pull the nose pads together, extending the pad arms and creating a thinner space between the nose pads. 

If your rims are plastic and have built-in nose pads, you’ll need to heat the temple tips in hot water or warm water for 60 seconds. Or, you can blast them with a hairdryer for 15 to 20 seconds until they are just slightly pliable. Then, press each temple tip downward. This will cause the bridge of the glasses to sit higher on your face. 

Problem: Your Glasses Are Too Tight Around the Nose

Glasses that pinch your nose aren’t just uncomfortable; they can quite literally interfere with your breathing. Avoiding a repair can cause you to wear your glasses too high or too low, depending on where they actually sit comfortably. 

Solution: Adjust the nose pads. This time, you’ll pull the nose pads apart instead of pushing them together. Using the methods above, pull the pads apart or heat the temple tips and bend them upward. 

Both remedies should help keep the nose pads fitting more comfortably on your face. 

Problem: One Lens Is Higher Than the Other

Differing lens heights are especially troubling if you have multifocal lenses. However, this is a really common problem with eyeglass frames. It should come as no surprise that our faces aren’t perfectly symmetrical, which means having one lens higher than the other happens frequently. 

Solution: Gently bend the temple of the lens that is higher downward. For instance, if your right lens is sitting higher than the left, gently bend the temple (arm) of the right lens down. It may be necessary for you to loosen the screw in the hinge to adjust the temple tightness.

Problem: The Lenses Aren’t Equidistant From Your Eyes

Your eyelashes are hitting the rim or lens of your left side lens, but not the other. It’s frustrating and annoying. Plus, pulling your glasses further from your face only causes them to slide down your nose. 

Solution: Bend both temples in the same direction as the lens that is too close. If the left lens is too close, bend both temples to the left. Do the opposite for a right lens that is too close. 

Problem: Your Glasses Are Too Tight On Your Temples

If your glasses feel like they’re giving you a tension headache, the problem is likely because the frames you have are simply too small for your face. If you don’t want to invest in a new pair of glasses, and if your glasses don’t have spring hinges, you can adjust the temples at the hinges. 

Solution: Adjust the screws at the hinges. You can do this by loosening them with an eyeglass repair kit screwdriver. Tip—use your dominant hand always. This should allow enough space to release the pressure that the tight frames are exerting on your temples and keep them comfortable. 

Problem: Your Glasses Are Too Loose On the Temples

If your glasses feel way too big, they probably are. While some adjustments may help, the real solution is probably to get another pair of glasses. Here are some adjustments to try before you hit the store for a new pair of eyeglasses.

Solution: Tighten the screws. If your glasses only recently became too loose, you probably just need to tighten the screws. If the screws are already as tight as they can go, you can attempt to adjust the nose bridge or temple tips.

Do this in the same way you would adjust glasses that are too loose on your nose. Unfortunately, this is more of a bandage-style fix, and you’ll probably still have to get new glasses. 

Stoggles: Easy Wearing for Ultimate Safety

If you’re dealing with safety glasses that don’t fit well, you’re definitely not wearing Stoggles. Stoggles are crafted with precision and are available in different shapes and sizes to fit your face. Because Stoggles are made from high-grade polycarbonate, they have built-in nose pads and comfortable temples that make them lightweight and easy to wear. 

Stoggles are also available with your prescription lenses, which means you’ll probably end up wearing them more often than you think. Stoggles are the ultimate in safety and comfort, and you won’t need to waste time adjusting them. 

Put down the tiny screwdriver and pick up a pair of Stoggles to help keep your eyes safe and your face happy.



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