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Caring for Lenses

When it comes to taking care of your prescription lenses and glasses frames, there’s a simple rule that, if followed, will virtually guarantee years of comfortable wear and crystal-clear vision from your glasses: If they’re not on your face, then keep your eyeglasses in a case.

The problem is, no one really follows that simple rule all of the time. (You know who you are.) It’s quite often, and rather easily forgotten. If you, like so many of us, don’t always use a solid case to store your prescription glasses, then the following lens and frame care and maintenance tips will go a long way toward maintaining your clear and comfortable sight and healthy eyes.

Cleaning glasses and protecting your lenses

Anyone who wears glasses knows how annoying it can be to have lenses that are grimy or dirty. It makes it harder to see the world around you and can cause eyestrain and headaches over time.

Not only that, but dirty glasses that aren’t cleaned for a long time can begin to breed bacteria. Germs that close to your eyes can cause problems, such as eye infection and dry eyes.

It’s not only the lenses, though. The frames of your glasses can also get dirty, causing bacteria to build up on the nose and other parts of the face, most often resulting in acne.

How often should I clean my glasses?

So, knowing the importance of cleaning your glasses, how often should it be done? The answer partly depends on a few factors, including your lifestyle, hygiene habits and tolerance for blurry vision, but the rule of thumb is that you should clean your lenses at least once per day, and your frames should get a thorough cleaning at least once per week.

How should I clean my lenses?

When it comes to cleaning your glasses, you should always keep it clean and keep it simple. If you’re spending more than 20 seconds cleaning your glasses, you’re likely overthinking the whole process.

To wash your prescription eyeglass lenses, the ideal is to use a combination of a specialized microfiber cloth and cleaning solution specifically formulated to clean lenses without damaging anti-scratch, anti-glare and other coatings.

However, if you don’t have these items available, eye care professionals suggest you gently rub your lenses clean with your fingers using warm, soapy water. After rinsing them, pat them dry with a clean, soft cloth. A common practice among many people who wear glasses is to wash their glasses or dry them off using a part of their shirt. This is a practice that is likely to lead to your lenses getting scratched. The same goes for rubbing your prescription lenses with rags, facial tissues or paper towels. No matter how soft any of these fabrics feel on your skin, they still have textured surfaces that can cause damage to lenses.

You should also avoid using household cleaners, acetone or soaps with cream, since these may contain chemicals may damage your frames.

How should I clean my glasses frames?

Frames can sometimes be difficult to clean properly because they’re made up of so many different tiny parts: screws, hinges, springs, etc.and they can all get covered in grease, dirt and sweat over time.

When cleaning your frames, you should pay close attention to the nose pads and ear clips of your glasses, as studies have shown that these are most often the most bacteria-covered areas, including bacteria that cause staph infections.

When cleaning your frames, you should use warm water and fragrance-free and lotion-free soap. Run the frame for a few minutes under the faucet, applying the soap with your fingers, and then rinsing off the soap after a minute or two. You should use a moist towlette with rubbing alcohol to clean the earpieces and nosepads.

Can I have my glasses professionally cleaned?

If it’s been a while since you cleaned your glasses thoroughly, oil and dirt may build up to the point that they will not come off if you try to clean your glasses yourself. If this is the case, you can bring your glasses to our optometry office and we can professionally clean them here at our optical.

A good time to ask us to clean your glasses may be when you come in to have your glasses adjusted, or when you visit us for your annual eye exam.

A strong case for storage

Never place prescription glasses in a purse, pocket or bag unprotected. This is a great recipe to get your lenses smudged and your frames broken. Storing your glasses in a proper case is just as important as keeping them clean from debris and dirt.

Storing your lenses in a sturdy protective case whenever you are not wearing them will go a long way towards preventing scratches on your lenses. Proper storage also helps to keep prescription eyeglass lenses clean while protecting your valuable frames material.

Let them down gently

Okay. You don’t always use the case. If setting your prescription lenses on a table or desk, it’s best to close your frames first before laying them down. Always set them frame-side down to avoid scratching the lenses. The floor is never a good place to leave your glasses. And when in the bathroom, remember: A sink or vanity top puts your lenses in an unfavorable position. Spatters, sprays and cosmetic products can quickly soil lenses. What’s more, anti-reflective (AR) treatments can be damaged by hairsprays or perfume.

Keep glasses on your nose, not on your head. Prescription eyeglass lenses are designed to rest on your nose in front of your eyes; not on the top of your head. Frames can become misaligned in this manner, making even the cleanest of lenses less than effective if not positioned properly in front of the eye.

Want to know more about proper cleaning and storage of your eyeglasses? Come visit our eye doctors or give us a call at today!