"Tis but a scratch!" - FOCUS ON EYEWEAR CARE

Glasses are an investment in time and money. You spend time choosing a suitable frame and discussing the most appropriate lenses for your vision needs with your optometrist. You wait for your new glasses to be made up and adjusted to fit correctly, and getting used to them may take a little while. They are not a cheap item, and you are unlikely to buy another pair for a while, so it is important to look after your glasses and keep them in the condition that facilitates optimal vision.

Mid-September is the start of EYE CARE AWARENESS MONTH, when caring for your eyewear is as important as caring for your eyes.

CLEANING YOUR GLASSES

Washing you glasses at least once a day will keep the lenses in an optimal state, and avoid you having to strain to see through smudged or dirty lenses.

Hold your frames by gripping the piece that crosses the bridge of the nose, rather than one of the ear pieces. This will prevent you from accidently bending the frame while you clean.

Rinse with water before wiping and cleaning them. Particles of dust and dirt on the lens can be abrasive if you wipe over a dry lens.

If possible, allow your glasses to air dry, which will prevent any abrasive materials from getting onto the lenses and scratching them.

If you can't leave them to air dry, wipe them gently with a soft clean cloth; your optometrist may supply you with one. Wash the cloth regularly.

NEVER dry your glasses with a tissue, paper towel or the edge of your T-shirt! Regardless of how soft they may feel to the touch, these materials have fibres or textures that can scratch the lenses.

If you would rather not use water, use a spray or cleaner that is specifically made to clean glasses, or a drop of dishwashing liquid. NEVER use household cleaners which may contain chemicals such as ammonia, which can strip the coating on the lenses.

STORING YOUR GLASSES

When not wearing them, keep your glasses in a case. A hard case which opens and closes is preferable to a case that the glasses slide into, which can rub against the lenses and cause tiny scratches.

Never put unprotected glasses or sunglasses in a pocket, handbag or briefcase.

Place your glasses with the lenses facing upwards, never lens down.

Avoid leaving your glasses on a dressing table or vanity top in the bathroom. Splashes and spatter from substances nearby can leave spots on the lenses and damage certain lens coatings.

Don't leave glasses on the dashboard of a hot car. This can damage both the lenses and the frame.

SCRATCHED LENSES AND BENT FRAMES

From time to time lenses may become scratched. Even tiny hairline scratches or particles interfere with clear vision, particularly at night when light travelling along the scratches creates haloes.

Bent glasses, too, can negatively affect your vision, and will probably feel uncomfortable on your face.

Sometimes the tiny screws holding the frame together become loose, causing a loosening or misalignment of the frame. You can gently tighten these yourself or take them in to your optometrist to have them tightened.

Coating on the lenses that have been damaged in any way will compromise optimal vision.

If for any reason your lenses are scratched, your frame out of alignment, or a lens has fallen out of the frame, visit your optometrist.

HANDLING YOUR GLASSES

Use both hands, not one hand, to put glasses on and take them off. This keeps the ear pieces straight and well-aligned. Using one hand stretches the glasses out of shape.

Keep glasses on your nose, not on top of your head! Apart from the danger of them falling off and becoming damaged, putting them on your head can distort the shape of your glasses and scratch the lenses.

If your glasses are slipping off your nose, try not to push them up by placing your finger on the nosepiece. This causes stress on the nose pads and the center part of the frame. Instead, gently grasp the lenses by putting your thumb at the bottom and fingers at the top, and then moving them to where they feel comfortable.

ALL EYES ON SPRING
GLAUCOMA - A PERSONAL STORY