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Welcome to the world of nose pads for glasses! Compared to progressive lenses and learning about presbyopia, this is one of the easy topics. So get comfy and read on to discover everything you need to know to get the perfect pair of pads.
What is a nose pad?
A pair of glasses is made up of several components: the arms, the lenses, the nose bridge, and sometimes, nose pads. Note the “sometimes”. You can get glasses without nose pads. Some pairs are completely plastic and flow smoothly over the nose. These are not adjustable, unless you purchase adhesive nose pads for plastic frames, ideally matching the color of the frames to remain discreet. However, some plastic glasses, and all metal frame glasses, feature nose pads.
Eyeglasses nose pads are small tear drop shapes made of a clear material. They tend to have one flat edge, and one curved. The latter is the side that comes into contact with your face. These pads are the point at which the glasses rest on your face, and they join up with the rim of the glasses frame. As a result, you want to make sure that the pads are as comfortable as possible, which will also reduce the chance of them leaving a mark on your nose bridge.
To help make them super comfortable, glasses nose pads come in different materials to cater to different lifestyles and fashions, so skip to the material section for more information on that.
However, the great thing about nose pads is that they make the glasses frame adjustable. You can very easily tweak the nose pads, and suddenly the glasses may fit much more comfortably. This can often be done at home as well, without the need for a professional optician. It is also more economical to adjust the nose pad rather than adjusting the entire frame, or even buying an entirely new pair of glasses. If the nose pads aren’t quite right, it is also nice and easy to replace them at your local optician. The pads are simply removed, and you can choose a new one in a shape and material to suit your preferences. This is worth considering if you have had your glasses for a long period of time, as the nose pads can get worn out and become less comfortable over time. When choosing new eyeglass nose pads, it is recommended you choose a clear color to remain invisible, or a color that matches the frame so that they blend in. The advantage of adjustable nose pads is that you won’t have to visit the optician as you can adjust them yourself within seconds.
Pros and Cons
There are multiple benefits to nose pads, but also a couple of drawbacks. The best thing about nose pads is that they can make any frame fit any face. So no matter how wide or narrow your nose bridge, you can alter nose pads to fit perfectly. This is because the nose pads can be shifted up or down to sit lower or higher on the nose.
The great thing about the ability to adjust nose pads is that it allows you to get your prescription lens in exactly the right place. Many glasses have the prescription in the central part of the lens, and require that your pupils align with it almost exactly. So if the glasses aren’t quite the right size, it’s ok, because you can adjust the nose pads to move the position of the lenses in relation to your eyes, and therefore see clearly through the glasses. This is particularly relevant to those with a varifocal lens, where the position of the glasses on the face determines the corrective power offered.
The other perk of adjustable nose pads is that if your frame doesn’t fit quite right, this can be remedied. Compared with the guard arms of the frame, nose pads are very easy to alter. One of the common issues with ill-fitting glasses is that the eyelashes brush up and down the lens. This can be a particular nightmare for those wearing mascara. However, with adjustable nose pads, this problem can be neatly avoided.
As for the down sides to nose pads, the most common complaint is that glasses nose pads leave marks on the sides of the nose bridge. To be honest, this is not a great look. It is the reason it is so important to get nose pads and glasses that fit exactly right. If you are seeing deeper indents or darker red marks, it could be that the entire frame needs adjusting, or that a softer material of nose pad is required.
So the material of the nose pad is vital to making them fit well and sit comfortably. The best advice from our certified optician is to opt for a smaller nose pad with a silicone base. This should minimise the red marks on the sides of your nose. A lighter glasses frame will also help to reduce such effects.
There are however different materials of nose pad that suit different people. These include plastic, rubber, silicone, foam, glass, polycarbonate and ceramic.
The most common material is silicone, as it is soft and therefore comfortable. It is also known for keeping glasses firmly in place. The issue is that it can prove slippery unless textured, and you don’t want your new designer specs falling off and smashing! That would be a nightmare. So if you have a more active lifestyle or turn your head a lot, it may be worth finding anti slip nose pads for glasses made with a more textured material that won’t budge quite so easily. The other point to note about silicone nose pads is that they are known to trap facial oils and makeup beneath them. If this builds up over time, irritation to the skin can be caused.
An alternative to silicone is foam, which is more resistant to such oily substances. They are also thinner, making them comfortable and discreet. The con to such a material is that they could slip more easily, and need to be frequently replaced.
A third option is polycarbonate, which provides even lighter and thinner nose pads. These are also more resistant to facial oils, so should stay in place for longer, and are slightly more durable.
Who can wear them
The truth is, anyone can wear adjustable nose pads. There are just some people that we would specifically recommend them to. Such customers include those with a flat nose bridge. In this case, silicone nose pads would hold onto the facial structure more firmly to avoid slippage. Those with a particularly wide nose bridge would also be advised to wear nose pads on their glasses, as the frames can be shifted to suit the wearer perfectly, where a plastic frame may not.
Adjustable Nose Pads vs. Nose Pads
So what is the difference between an adjustable nose pad and just any old nose pad? The key thing to understand is that even normal nose pads can be adjusted, it’s just that you might need certain tools to do so, and therefore it is advisable to visit an optician to have the job done properly.
On the other hand, an adjustable nose pad can be altered by anyone and everyone. An adjustable nose pad sits on a longer piece of metal along which it can easily be slid up and down. This means that if your multifocal lenses are not quite in the right position for you to take full advantage of the three corrective powers, you can alter the nose pads to help you see more clearly.
This makes adjustable nose pads the most versatile bridge type available. They can serve the narrowest and widest nose bridges, and the smallest and biggest noses. In this sense, children can greatly benefit from adjustable nose pads, because other frame types may not stay put in the same way. With an adjustable nose pad, you are almost guaranteed a perfect fit.
When you are wearing your adjustable nose pads, all you need to know is that if they feel a bit too tight, push the pads further apart. If they feel too loose, pull them closer together.
If still in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask our opticians a question, as they are on hand to help 24/7. Plus, don’t forget that all glasses frames - nose pads or not - come with a best price guarantee.