The Art of Frame Adjusting

Chances are you might not have given much consideration to the role your frames play correcting your vision. After all, isn’t that the lenses job?

While it’s certainly true that fashion has shaped the frames our customers wear and cosmetics tends to be the overriding consideration when choosing new frames, rest assured your frames have another role to play.

For your lenses to function correctly as intended by your Optometrist they must be positioned in precisely the right position in front of your eyes. The correct positioning of lenses involves taking into consideration the height, distance from the eyes and tilt of the lenses. Controlling these variables is the job of your frames, if any of these parameters are outside the optimum range the correction will be compromised.

Fortunately frame manufacturers understand every face is different and build adjustability into their frames so they can be tuned for optimum positioning and comfort.  Manipulating the frame adjustment to optimize the lens position and wearing comfort is an art and a skill that takes training, time and experience to master.


Every good frame adjustment starts with the nose bridge fit. The reason the bridge area is so important is because most of the weight in spectacles pushes down on the wearer’s bridge.  The bridge has the job of holding the lenses in the correct height position and also controls the distance from the eyes to the back of the lenses. Both are critical to clear vision.

The correct tilt of your lenses is also paramount to their performance. This is especially true for multifocal, bifocal and modern aspheric single vision lenses.   A skilled Optical Dispenser will set the lens tilt correctly for your type of lenses. This can make an enormous difference to the performance of the lenses. Many modern spectacle lenses fail to meet their full potential unless the tilt angle is set correctly. Frames are designed to allow the alteration of lens tilt to suit the lenses being utilized.

The temples (sides or arms) of each frame also need to be adjusted for each unique individual. Correct temple adjustment requires looking at the wearers temple width, distance to the ears and skull shape.  The overall comfort and grip comes from the temple adjustment and this can have an enormous bearing on the “wearability” of the spectacles. If you’ve ever had a poorly adjusted temple on your frames you’ll know what we mean.


Adjusting spectacle frames requires a specialized set of tools and a skilled operator. It is best performed “in the chair” and as such we take a few minutes at every spectacle collection to examine the frame fit and carry out any fine tuning to ensure the best possible vision and comfort is achieved. We do this for both new frames and re-used frames.

Frames regularly go out of adjustment and this can obviously affect lens performance and comfort.  The Abernethy Owens team of Optical Dispensers have the tools and know how to adjust your frames without risking breakage or damage.  Don’t hesitate to call on us.