Why are my glasses crooked?

Your glasses may become crooked for several reasons. Habits such as incorrect handling, how you wear them or even improper storage can cause unevenness. Alternatively, your frame’s sizing or your prescription lenses can also affect your frame’s structural symmetry.

That sounds like a lot, so, to make things easy, we’ve listed the seven most common reasons why your glasses are crooked and how you might be able to fix it.

Let’s dive in.


7 reasons why your glasses are crooked

Illustration of man incorrectly removing tortoise glasses with one hand

#1 Removing them incorrectly

Whipping your glasses off with one hand might seem like a stylish shortcut, but this is one of the worst habits when it comes to handling them. Repeatedly taking them off squint (usually with the same hand) causes the frame to become slack, wider and often crooked. If your glasses' temples (arms) open to different angles, they've likely been stretched out of shape from using one hand to put them on or take them off. If this

How to fix it: In this instance, consult your optician or the online vendor whom you purchased your glasses from. They'll be able to safely reshape your frame front to make it more curved again. (Avoid trying to do this yourself as you might damage the coatings on your lenses.)

New habit: When you remove your glasses, always do it with consideration, using two hands. Holding each temple (arm) in each hand, slide them off evenly. This prevents straining the hinges and keeps your frame symmetrical. Inversely, the same rule applies when you put them on.


Close view of crooked tortoise glasses frame with thick lenses

#2 Your prescription lenses

Do you use your glasses for distance? If so, minus prescription lenses are thickest at their edges and can actually 'pull' your frame front flat. In turn, this can make your glasses splay open wider and cause them to sit loosely or squint on your face. If your glasses feel too wide on your head or have become loose at the sides, this might have come from your lenses.

How to fix it: In this instance, consult your optician or the online vendor whom you purchased your glasses from. They'll be able to safely reshape your frame front to make it more curved again. (Avoid trying to do this yourself as you might damage the coatings on your lenses.)

Not your fault: Lens-shape is out of your control and is what corrects your vision. If you have a strong minus prescription, be mindful of this if your frame has become slack or out of shape. Your optician will understand perfectly and will likely make your glasses even again without charging you.


Illustration of man wearing tortoise glasses on top of his head

#3 Wearing them wrong

Are you guilty of wearing your glasses on top of your head? Sure, this keeps them to hand and can help keep your hair out of your face. But, this is a surefire way to warp your glasses frame.

If you use your glasses like a hairband, the temples (arms) can begin to straighten out. This bad habit puts strain on your hinges and can even make your frame front flat. Pressure from the sides of your head can cause the frame to slowly stretch out of shape and become crooked over time.

How to fix it: If your frame has become slack, politely ask your optician or online vendor to re-shape them for you. This process involves removing your lenses and using heat to re-curve your frame. Your temples may also require adjustment so it's best to leave this to a professional for free or for a small fee.

New habit: Keep your glasses in front of your eyes ONLY. Slide them on slowly and evenly until they rest perfectly on your nose. This will help keep the frame symmetrical and in its correct position.


Man wearing small square glasses frame looking upwards

#4 Wrong frame size

Are your glasses a little too small? If you wear glasses that aren't the right size for you, the pressure from the sides of your head can cause the frame to slowly stretch out of shape and become crooked over time. This is because the frame isn't made to withstand this pressure and will eventually give way. In addition, the temples may also be squeezing your head which can lead to headaches.

How to fix it: Depending on how recently you purchased your glasses, you may be able to ask for an exchange for a larger or different frame. Don't wait until it's too late to say anything. Your optician/online vendor can consult and suggest the best solution based on your discomfort.

Wait a minute: In some instances, the temples (arms) of your glasses might be too curved, which isn't a size issue at all. If the ends of your temples are pinching your head, this can be adjusted at home or with your optician using a gentle heat source.

Related: A guide to spectacle frame sizing


Illustration side view of man wearing tortoise glasses frame

#5 Uneven ears

Facial asymmetry is super common. You may have uneven ears which means that one ear is not the same size or height as the other. If so, this can cause your glasses to sit slanted on your face because the temples of your glasses aren't resting evenly on your ears.

How to fix it: If you have facial asymmetry and notice your glasses are positioned crookedly on your face, you should consult your optician to adjust the frame so they sit more symmetrically. Several methods can be used, such as adjusting the frame using heat. However, this depends on your asymmetry and how recently you purchased your glasses.

Wait a minute: If one of your ears is higher than the other, your spectacles may eventually adapt to this imbalance. On your higher ear, the corresponding temple may nturally 'scissor' upwards slightly to accommodate this. This is exactly how your optician would adjust your frame, so if you lay your glasses flat on a table and one temple is higher than the other, asymmetrical ears is the reason why.

Keep in mind: Suit tailors or cobblers regularly adapt their work to correspond with bodily asymmetry. Suits may be padded to make your shoulders look level or a shoe may be fitted with a heel lift to make your legs the same length. Spectacle frames are no different.


Sheet of tortoise acetate being made in green machine

#6 Acetate can warp

The plastic used to make full-rim glasses frame is called acetate. In case you didn't know, acetate is a natural bio-material, and just like wood, it can warp over time due to factors such as temperature changes, age, your lenses or just good ol' wear and tear.

Thin acetate frames are especially prone to warping and become increasingly crooked with everyday use. This can cause them to develop an uneven shape that becomes more noticeable over time.

Fortunately, acetate frames can be reshaped relatively easily. If the frame was well-made and well-fitted to your face in the first place, then it will likely stay straight for longer. However, if you start to notice that your glasses fit less snugly on your face then this might be a sign of warping.

How to fix it: The easiest way to fix warped spectacles is to take them to an optician who can make adjustments at a minimal cost. They may use a frame-heater or other tools to reshape the frame back into its original shape so it fits snugly again around your ears and nose. Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave, you could attempt some DIY methods such as using hot water or a hair dryer. But, these techniques should only be used as a last resort since they come with certain risks of damaging the acetate, your prescription lenses or their delicate coatings.

Not always your fault: Thin acetate frames are more likely to warp as the material is more susceptible to temperature change or prescription lens curvature. In terms of preventative measures, thin acetate frames should also be stored correctly when not in use; ideally in their protective case. It's important to ensure that thin acetate glasses frames are handled with care and stored properly when not being worn to extend their lifespan and keep them straighter for longer.

Related: What is cellulose acetate?


Illustration of tortoise glasses frame being put inside protective case

#7 Storing them wrong

How you store your glasses may be making them crooked. If you use a protective case that's slightly too small, your frame may experience uneven pressure which can twist them out of shape. Furthermore, soft cases made from leather may help prevent scratches but don't provide structural protection. Impacts or compression inside a soft case can also damage your frame, causing loose hinges or misshapen temples (arms).

How to fix it: The best way to avoid this problem is by using a hard case that's specifically designed for your size of glasses. This will protect your lenses and frames from getting damaged and keep them in their original shape. If you don't have a prescription glasses case, their readily available online or via your optician.

New habit: When you aren't wearing your glasses, keep them in a correctly-sized protective case. Be sure your frame isn't being squished in there and there's a little 'breathing room'.

Pro tip: Keeping your glasses open on a flat table is actually one of the best ways to keep them in good shape. Good old gravity can make your frame level again without the need for heat or manual adjustment. Heck, you could even get a nice piece of marble and make your very own optical plinth.


How do you fix crooked glasses?

Rear view of crooked glasses frame

Problem: Temples aren't level

If your glasses don't sit evenly on a table and one temple (arm) sits higher than the other, this can be caused by one of two problems.

  • Misaligned hinges.
  • Uneven temple 'hook' curvature.


To diagnose either of these problems, open your glasses frame, turn them upside down and lay them flat on a table. If the temples (arms) 'see saw' on the table, this means the problem is misaligned hinges. If the temples don't 'see saw', this means the temple 'hook' curvature is uneven.


Illustration of person adjusting crooked glasses temple arm

To fix misaligned hinges open your glasses fully. Grab hold of your frame front and the temple you'd like to adjust. With one hand on the frame front and the other on the temple, gently lever the temple in the direction which will make it sit level. (This may be upwards or downwards.) Be sure to be gentle and make minor adjustments as only a few degrees will make all the difference. *Avoid bending too far as this will damage your hinges. If you're unsure, ask for advice or take your glasses to a professional.*


Illustration of glasses temple arm being adjusted

To fix uneven temple curvature open your glasses fully. Using warm water (50°C) or a hair dryer, gently heat one of the temples at the curved section where it 'hooks' behind your ear. Do this for at least 60 seconds to ensure proper heating and so that the acetate/metal has become more pliable. Holding the temple (only) on either side of the hook, gently bend the temple so it's either more curved or straighter. Lay your glasses back on the table and check if they are level. If not, repeat this process.


Illustration of glasses temple arm being adjusted by hand

Problem: Temples open to different angles

If one of your temples (arms) opens further than the other, or your frame sits closer to one side of your face, this is usually caused by uneven temple curvature. This occurs when one temple is straighter than the other and needs re-shaped.

How to fix it: Decide which temple is straightest and needs curving. Use warm water (50°C) or a hair dryer to gently heat the temple for about 60 seconds whilst avoiding your lenses. Holding the heated temple only, use your hands to curve the temple inwards so it matches the other. To compare temples to make sure they're even, open your frame, lay it on a table and check it from above. You can of course apply this method to both temples if required.


Illustration of glasses temple arm being heated with hairdryer

How to fix crooked glasses at home

Adjusting your glasses at home can be a great way to save money and time. However, if done incorrectly, it may lead to further damage or distortion of the frame. Certain risks come with tinkering with your glasses and therefore should be taken into consideration before attempting any adjustments.

Firstly, when making any adjustments to the hinges of a frame it is important to ensure that the process is done correctly to avoid damaging or misaligning the hinges which could potentially cause them to become unusable. If you're unsure about the process, it's usually best to consult an optician or repair service who'll have knowledge and experience in this area.

Secondly, when making adjustments to your glasses, care must be taken not to damage your lens coatings whilst using warm water or a hairdryer. Using excessively hot water may damage coatings such as anti-glare or anti-scratch layers. This type of damage could lead to surface damage known as 'crazing' where your lenses develop a strange network of fine cracks on their surfaces.

Finally, frames that are made from plastic materials such as acetate can easily become misshapen if heated too much by either water or a hairdryer. This misshaping causes frames to become irreparably curved which can lead to discomfort when wearing them because they no longer fit correctly on your face due to uneven contours around the nose and ears.

When attempting any kind of adjustment on a pair of spectacles it is important to consider all possible risks before doing so. In most cases, it's usually better for an optician or repairs service with expertise in this area to handle any necessary repairs and adjustments. They'll know how best to handle each situation without causing further problems.


Squint glasses FAQ’s

Man wearing crooked glasses frame with surprised look on his face

Why do my glasses look slanted?

The most common cause of a slanted appearance from glasses is when the temples (arms) are 'scissored' or if your ears are of different heights. If this is the case, this can be adjusted by heating and bending the temples until they are level again.


Why do my glasses look crooked?

Your glasses may look crooked due to incorrect handling or storage of frames, as well as natural warpage. The best way to fix this problem is to have them adjusted professionally so that they fit snugly on your face and are symmetrical.


Why is one side of my glasses higher than the other?

One side of your glasses may sit higher than the other due to uneven hinges or if you have asymmetrical ears. If your frame's temples are uneven (in terms of height) this will cause your frame front to sit slanted. Equally, your temples may be level but your ears might not. This is perfectly natural and can be compensated by having your frame's temples intentionally adjusted to cater for your uneven ears.


Are glasses supposed to be a little crooked?

Glasses frames often become crooked for a number of reasons such as wear and tear, the curvature of your lenses, how you wear them and the way you store them. Inevitably, spectacles become a little squint with daily use which can be remedied by your optician or wherever you bought them from.


Aerial view of glasses frame curvature

Should glasses be straight or curved?

Prescription lenses are curved, therefore your glasses are too. This way, your lenses can stay within the frame and perform the optical correction your eyes require. Different manufacturers make their frames to different curvatures known as 'base curve'. This usually ranges between 2 to 6. Frames which appear straight do have a slight curvature.


Can crooked glasses hurt your eyes?

Yes, crooked glasses can cause eyestrain and headache over long periods of use as your eyes are under constant strain, trying to adjust to focus properly. The best thing you can do is have your frame re-adjusted so that it fits properly. If your glasses are positioned too low, too high or slanted on your face, this may cause eye strain.


How do you know if your glasses are adjusted correctly?

Your glasses should feel comfortable to wear without causing any pinching or pressure points. Equally, your glasses shouldn't be overly loose either as this may cause them to slide down your nose, rest on your cheeks or sit too low. If you experience any of these issues, contact your optician or the vendor whom you bought your glasses from.


Man wearing poorly fitting black glasses frame

How do you fix glasses that sit too high?

Spectacles or sunglasses with a narrow bridge width will rest too high on your nose. If your frame has adjustable nose pads, these can be widened so your frame can be positioned lower. Bridges on full rim acetate frames are less easily adjusted and generally cannot be widened.

Related: Should glasses cover your eyebrows?


Can opticians fix bent glasses?

Yes, depending on the damage, opticians can usually repair bent frames. They will try to make sure that your frame is adjusted correctly, avoiding any further damage or distortion. Optometrists have the correct tools to readjust spectacle frames so they can fit you comfortably and are symmetrical.


How much does it cost to reshape glasses?

The cost of glasses repair depends on the damage caused to your frame. There are various services online which offer a quotation based on your needs. See the list below for options.


Country  Glasses repairs & adjustments company
UK AlphaOmega
UK Spec-Tech
UK Repair Glasses
UK Simple Spex
UK Glasses Repair
UK Glasses repairs & lenses
USA Fix My Glasses
USA Eyeglass Repair USA
USA World Optic
USA American Eyeglass Repair




Your glasses can become crooked for a number of reasons, including incorrect handling, wear and tear, the curvature of your lenses and how you wear them. Here are some key takeaways;

  • You can fix glasses that are crooked by having them adjusted to fit properly on your face or by taking them to an optician.
  • More often than not, it's best to have your glasses adjusted or repaired professionally.
  • To prevent glasses from becoming crooked in the future, be sure to handle and store them correctly. (Hard cases are usually best.)
  • Your lenses may be 'pulling' your frame out of shape.
  • Always take your glasses on/off using two hands.
  • Never wear your glasses on top of your head.
  • Acetate can easily warp.


Hopefully you found this article helpful. Please check out our other eyecare blogs. Thanks for stopping by.

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