One of the biggest reasons for a patient to experience discomfort from their glasses is because of sore ears. While this may seem like a quick and easy fix, it’s important for the Licensed Dispensing Optician to fully assess the situation to find the root cause of the discomfort and be able to correct it.
Perhaps the most common situation is that the temples (aka stems or arms) have gotten too wide. Often times this is due to the glasses being put in a shirt pocket or a non-hard shell case, and then the front of the glasses being flattened out. When this has happened, the glasses will slip, and will make both ears sore, since the temples have been displaced from their intended area.
Falling asleep in glasses is another common culprit for getting glasses bend out of shape and hurting the ears. This often shows up with the temple that has been slept on being bent ‘way out, and sometimes significantly bent too high or too low.
Facial impact – for example, getting smacked in the face with a basketball – will not only really hurt at the point of impact, but can result in a harder to diagnose maladjustment commonly referred to as the “propeller effect”, where one lens is twisted from the same plane as the other.
Finally, your glasses may hurt because of their adjustment – or lack of one. It’s sad, but I have seen multiple patients whose eyewear provider did not even attempt to adjust their glasses, and others where the fit was actually detrimental to proper vision and good comfort. Here’s a quick test – just ask the person fitting your glasses to you if they are compensating for the mastoid curve. If they give you a blank look, just grab your glasses and go, and find someone who has the skills and training to make the glasses gently conform to that little depression just behind the very top of your ears.
The bottom line is that properly selected and professionally fit glasses should never hurt your ears – unless they experience the trauma of being stepped on, slept in, or hit by a ball or other object.
If you have questions about how your glasses fit, just leave me a note in the comments section, and I’ll respond as quickly as possible.
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