It’s important that everyone follows strict hygiene practices to prevent the spread of the virus. In particular, people should avoid touching their nose, mouth and eyes, as germs are easily transferred from your surroundings to your hands.
What some people don’t realize is that germs, including the coronavirus, can accumulate on eyeglasses and remain there for as long as nine days. That’s why it’s important to disinfect your eyeglasses after every use.
Keep in mind that improper cleaning can damage your eyeglasses. To help you disinfect your eyeglasses properly, Downtown Eyes, your local optician, shares some tips in this guide.
What Not to Do When Disinfecting Your Eyeglasses
Never use rubbing alcohol to disinfect your eyeglasses, as it can damage the lenses, including any special coatings on them. You should also avoid using any product that contains ammonia, bleach or acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar.
Safe Solutions for Cleaning Your Eyeglasses
What are the solutions that are safe to use on your eyeglasses? A washing solution made with lukewarm water and gentle dish soap is the safest option. You can also use the same type of pre-moistened lens wipes that are designed for cleaning phone, tablet and computer screens, all of which also harbor all kinds of germs. The main benefit of using lens wipes is that you don’t have to deal with smudges, streaks or solution residue. Lens wipes are durable enough to remove stubborn stains while being gentle enough that they’re safe for use on eyeglasses. For recommendations on which brand of lens wipes to use, consult your local optician.
What’s the Proper Way to Clean Your Eyeglasses?
Cleaning your eyeglasses isn’t complicated. However, to ensure you don’t accidentally scratch the lenses or damage the frames, you’ll need to observe a few additional precautions:
Rinse your glasses before cleaning or disinfecting them – If you wipe dust and small debris off a glass surface, these tiny particles might scratch your lenses. Instead, gently rinse them in tap water before wiping.
Carefully spray the solution – Spray the cleaning solution and gently massage it onto the lenses. Remember: either use a mild dishwashing solution or a cleaner is specifically made for eyeglasses. Don’t forget to disinfect the nose pads and earpieces of the frames.
Let the lenses air-dry – It’s best to let the lenses air-dry. However, if you don’t have the time for that, you can wipe them gently with a microfiber cloth. Avoid using paper towels or ordinary pieces of cloth, as they can scratch the lenses. We also don’t recommend using the tail of your shirt, especially if not’s 100% cotton. Over time, the fabric will leave scratches on your lenses. Not to mention it might contain germs.
Grip the frames firmly – While cleaning your eyeglasses, grip the frames by holding the piece that crosses the bridge of the nose. Holding your eyeglasses this way reduces the likelihood of accidentally bending the frame. Bent frames not only affect your ability to see but also make wearing your eyeglasses uncomfortable.
General Care and Maintenance
Here are some general care and maintenance tips for your eyeglasses:
Wash your eyeglasses at least once a day – Cleaning your eyeglasses at least once a day isn’t just hygienic–it also ensures sure your vision isn’t hampered by dirty lenses. If you find yourself frequently squinting even though your lenses are clean, it may be time to see your local eye doctor for an eye examination. Frequent squinting is a sign that your eyesight has changed and you may need a new prescription.
Store your eyeglasses in a protective case when not in use – Don’t store your eyeglasses out in the open as this increases the chances they’ll get damaged or scratched. You also shouldn’t put unprotected eyeglasses in a purse, pocket or bag or leave them in a hot car. The frames might get bent if you put them in cramped spaces such as your purse or bag. If your eyeglasses are left on top of the dashboard or the glove compartment, heat and UV rays from the sun magnified by the windshield can cause irreparable damage to the lenses or frames.
It’s best to store your eyeglasses in a protective case, which keeps dust, dirt and other small abrasive debris away from your lenses and protects them from scratches. If you don’t want to carry around a bulky case all the time, you can invest in a sleek microfiber pouch. The next time you visit your eye doctor for an eye exam, you can ask for one.
Keep your eyeglasses on your nose, not on your head – Some people have the habit of placing their eyeglasses over their head when not use. However, it’s best to avoid this habit, as it might bend the frames.
What to Do If Your Eyeglasses Are Scratched?
Is there anything you can to repair scratched lenses? There are lots of so-called hacks on the internet about repairing scratched lenses. Scratches are essentially depressions on the glass surface. Most of these hacks aim to sand the surface to remove the scratches, but this will most likely result in further damage to your eyeglasses. If your lenses suffered scratches or any kind of damage for that matter, see your local optometrist. They can determine if it’s still possible to repair your eyeglasses.
How to Tell if You Need a New Prescription or New Eyeglasses
Of course, you shouldn’t wait for your eyeglasses to be damaged to go to your local optometrist. As a rule of thumb, you should see your eye doctor for an eye examination at least once a year to make sure your prescription is up-to-date. While it may seem like nothing’s wrong with your vision, your eyes may have an underlying issue that only a comprehensive eye exam can detect.
How can you tell if it’s time to get a new prescription or new eyeglasses? By keeping an eye out for some of these warning signs:
Frequent headaches – Outdated prescriptions can increase the strain on your eye, which can in turn lead to headaches. You might not immediately notice subtle changes in your vision, but you may still experience unpleasant symptoms from the subsequent eye strain, like headaches. The only way to diagnose a vision change is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam.
Frequent squinting – Squinting is the natural “fix” to having trouble focusing. Squinting reduces the light entering your eyes to improve your vision’s clarity. If your glasses are working properly, you shouldn’t need to squint to see better, except in places where it’s extremely bright. Prolonged squinting can actually exacerbate vision problems as it adds strain to your eyes. If you notice that you squint whenever you read a book or look at a computer screen, see your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Difficulty cleaning your eyeglasses – If the coatings on your eyeglasses’ lenses start to break down, they leave behind a coating that makes it harder to clean your lenses.
Why Upgrade Your Eyeglasses?
Even if you haven’t experienced any of these symptoms, it might be time for an upgrade to your eyeglasses if you haven’t had an eye exam in over a year. Several innovative eyewear technologies are introduced to the market every year. Features such as special coatings that can block ultraviolet rays and reduce glare can help protect and even improve your vision. To learn more about these features, consult your local optometrist.