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Pain in the Glasses: Dealing with Common Sources of Discomfort

You found a beautiful pair of frames that compliment your face. You love them.  But you don’t love it when they create discomfort. Sometimes our favorite glasses can cause nose pain, nose marks, eye strain, and can even cause pain behind your ears. The first step to avoiding these eyewear annoyances is having glasses that fit correctly. That’s why it’s so important to work with an eye doctor who can fit them properly to your face.  Incorrect fit is usually the biggest reason why your glasses can cause discomfort.

But even when your glasses fit as well as possible, minor issues can arise. Here are some tips to help deal with these common sources of discomfort.

Nose Bridge Pain

Glasses that fit well should sit securely on the bridge of your nose, without pinching it. The frames shouldn’t press into your face even when you’re nodding, shaking your head, or bending down. If your glasses are pinching or shifting around, it’s possible your fit is off. If pain is a persistent problem first visit an eye care professional to ensure your fit is right.

Typically, plastic frames are built to rest directly on the nose, while metal frames use supportive nose pads to distribute weight more evenly. However, the nose pads must be set to the correct bridge size to fit correctly and the nose pad material can also be a contributing factor.

If nose pads are not positioned flush against your face they can dig in causing pain. A fit adjustment may be all that is needed to solve your problems. Your optician may also be able to switch the type of nose pad, perhaps moving from silicone to acetate or vylon.

Even with a secure fit, some glasses frames are heavier than others and the weight alone can contribute to nose pain. When you’re shopping for glasses talk to your eyewear professional to find out about options for lightweight lenses and frame materials.


Nose Pad Prints

Most glasses wearers have experienced those little indentations that appear on your face when you take off your glasses. Those marks can be a lasting remind of discomfort.

One way to prevent these marks is to remove your glasses periodically throughout the day. Removing your glasses frequently allows your skin to breather and massaging those marked areas can help diminish them.

Once again, finding the right nose pads may also be the solution If your glasses aren’t fit well with the nose pads in the right place that may be exacerbating the problem.

Pain Behind The Ears

When you feel pain behind your ears while wearing glasses it may be because your glasses are too small for your head and/or incorrectly adjusted.

Ear pain from glasses that are too tight can cause headaches due to poor circulation. To ease this pain, visit an optician to adjust your frames or help you find a pair that better fits your face. If your frames are fit correctly, eyewear cushions might be an option for discomfort resulting from long-term wear.

While glasses frames can be adjusted to fit a variety of head sizes, not all frames are right for everyone. Some eyewear designers offer frames in varieties like petite, plus size and alternative fit to help meet different needs.

Wearing Glasses with Headphones

We all want to have our music. But wearing glasses with headphones can be extremely uncomfortable. Yes, earbuds are an option, but if you love over-the-head headphones like Dre Beats, what can you do?  

Glasses with thin frames will likely fare better against noise cancelling pressure. Looser headphones, that let in more outside noise, might be more comfortable. The thickness of the ear pad may also make a difference, so look for headphones with thick, plush ear pads.

Eye Strain

Looking at a computer or a T.V. for too long is a common cause of eye strain, blurred vision and red eyes. If your job ties you to a glowing screen, computer glasses can help prevent eye strain.

Computer glasses are different than regular eyeglasses and reading glasses. When you’re on a computer, the screen is usually positioned 20 to 25 inches from your eyes. People who need prescription glasses are usually prescribed single vision lenses, which correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism.

Computer glasses are lenses that are designed to reduce glare, increase contrast, and maximize vision. There is an anti-reflective coating which reduces the glare  coming from screens and other light sources. Tinted glass helps to maximize contrast. They are available as single vision, occupational progressive lenses and occupational bifocal and trifocal lenses.

Not everyone needs computer glasses, though they can be useful for glasses wearers of any age. But if string at a computer gives you eye strain, and it can’t be avoided, bring it up when you’re getting glasses. As always tell your eye care professional about any sources of pain or day to day job requirements to find out if computer glasses are a good answer.

No one should be uncomfortable in their glasses but sometimes it’s more than annoyance. When discomfort is a symptom of poor fit there’s even more at stake. When your glasses are crooked or slide down your nose, the angle of your vision changes making your vision through your lenses less accurate.  Irritation from glasses is always unwelcome, and there are often simple solutions for your discomfort. Most of them you can find at an eyewear store, though you may have to ask about the headphones at a Best Buy. Glasses are a fashion statement, and yes they say beauty is pain, but when it comes to your frames, it shouldn’t have to be.