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10 Ways You Abuse Your Eyeglasses Without Even Knowing

Even with insurance, eyeglasses can be pricey. Here’s how to keep them in good shape and make them last.

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You take them off with one hand

You’d never think anything of it, but did you know taking your glasses off with one hand can actually damage the frames? Grabbing the side of your frames to take them off your face can actually bend them over time, according to Nancy Kirsch, a New York state licensed optician and director of the Essilor Eyewear Center at the SUNY College of Optometry. “If you are first compelled to take your glasses off with one hand, then you should do it from the center of the frame where the bridge is and not pull on one side,” she says. “When you pull on one temple it stretches them out.” If tugging at the bridge feels awkward, you can also take your frames off with both hands, one on each side, instead. Here are other secrets eye doctors won’t tell you.

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You don’t put them back in a case

Many people don’t even use the case their glasses came with. Leaving your glasses around the house, putting them in your pocket or throwing them in your purse mean they’re more likely to get scratched. The solution? When you’re not wearing your glasses put them in a case. These natural remedies can give your vision a boost.

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You put them on top of your head

By putting eyeglasses on top of your head when not in use, you could stretch them out over time, Kirsch says. This may be especially true for reading glasses, since they’re often taken on and off. “It’s not a bad idea to get a cord around your neck so you don’t lose them,” Kirsch says, adding people should “get over the idea of making yourself feel like you’re an old lady or an old man.”

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You use your clothes to wipe the lenses

A smudge on your glasses can be extremely irritating, but, unlike a scratch, it’s only temporary. The fibers in clothing can scratch your lenses or leave small pieces of lint that will annoy you even more, so consider grabbing the lens cloth you got from the optician instead. If that cloth has long been lost, grab a paper towel and some water, Kirsch says. The Wall Street Journal suggests running glasses under warm water, applying a small amount of dish soap and drying with a cotton cloth.

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You leave them on your windshield

Thick plastic frames are a popular trend, but they may not stand the test of time as well as metal frames—especially in the heat. “Leaving your glasses on the dashboard of your car, especially if you have plastic frames, the heat through the windshield can make the glasses soften and they can get out of shape that way,” Kirsch says. Leaving them near other heat sources, such as radiators or the stove, probably isn’t a good idea either. Here are other items you should never leave in your car.

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You fold them and put them face down

It may seem like a good idea to fold your glasses and put them on a flat surface, but this can actually end up scratching the lenses if they’re lens side down, Kirsch says. Storing them back in a case is always a safe bet, but if you must, it’s better to put your glasses down with the lenses facing up.

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You let other people wear them

Sometimes a friend or family member is curious about just how bad your vision is, so they ask to try on your glasses. Turns out you should kindly decline, because letting other people try on your glasses is another way the frames can be stretched out, Kirsch says.

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You try to glue them back together

Despite exercising the best practices, sometimes your glasses just break. You don’t want to spend the money on a new pair so you quickly glue them back together. Good, right? Nope. “You shouldn’t try to crazy glue them back together because what happens is that the lenses themselves may be able to fit into a different frame for you, but if you get crazy glue on the frame or the lens you can’t pop them out,” Kirsch says.

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You exercise or play sports with your glasses on

You still need to see when trying to catch a ball or even go on a jog, but wearing your glasses can end very badly. Instead, consider investing in protective sports eyewear, which is made from special material to safeguard your eyes during sports and physical activity.

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You fall asleep with them on

This one is pretty obvious, but falling asleep with your glasses on is a big no-no. The frames will likely get misshapen when you lay down, or worse, you can roll over them. Do yourself a favor and take them off if you feel yourself nodding off.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest