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How to Fix a Broken Glasses Arm

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a pair of brown sunglasses with one arm broken off at the hinge

Picture this. The sun is out, and you’re taking a trip to the park with your family. Suddenly, a “trip” becomes all too literal as a family member gets their foot caught on uneven pavement. They’re fine, even if their knee is a little banged up. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for their glasses. The arm broke! Whoops!

Broken glasses can be more than inconvenient. People can get attached to certain frames as they become part of their style and identity. After you’ve spent time and money ensuring your prescription is up to date, it’s reasonable to look for a fix rather than a replacement. Depending on the damage, it is possible to fix a broken glasses arm with an eyeglasses repair kit, glue, and several other DIY methods.

Assessing the Damage

The first thing you want to do after hearing that unfortunate crack is to figure out where the damage is. Remember, DIY repairs always come with a risk of further damage. If you’re unsure whether or not you can do the needed repairs, you can always bring the frame to an optician to replace the frame properly.

If you have metal frames, it’s best not to try to repair them at home. Bent metal can be gently reformed back into the proper shape, but if you force it, you can cause additional damage. Broken metal typically needs to be welded back together, and that’s a job better left up to the professionals, as intense heat can melt your lenses.

Plastic frames have a bit more leeway with the kinds of repairs you can do. The arms are generally thicker and don’t require welding. Once you find the break or crack, you can begin choosing your next steps.

a hand applying super glue to the side of a pair of red glasses to reattach the arm

At-Home Glasses Repair

There are a few different ways your glasses arm may break. While it can happen when your glasses fall off, get stepped on, or are accidentally sat on, they can also break through general wear and tear.

A common culprit is the hinge screw which holds the arm and frame together. It can fall out or even break if sufficiently weakened over time. The arm itself may also snap, leaving a much shorter reach that can no longer hold the frame to your head. Each of these types of damage has its own fixes.

Eyeglass Repair Kit

You can find a basic eyeglass repair kit at most drugstores, supermarkets, or from your optometrist themselves. They come with an array of tiny tools that can repair a few different problems with your glasses. You may find spare nose pads, magnifiers, grips, and most importantly for our needs, replacement hinge screws and screwdrivers.

Replace the lost screw with one of the screws from the kit. Simple, right? 

Super Glue

If the arm has snapped in 2, you’ll need something more comprehensive than a screw. You can bond two pieces together using a dab of super glue.

First, you will need to clean the frames well.  It is also a good idea to protect the lenses with paper while you’re working and wait until the glue has completely dried before wearing your glasses.

This method won’t completely fix your glasses, and they’ll likely be weaker at the place where they’re glued together. Moreover, depending on where the break is, the slight change in structure could affect how your eyeglasses fit.

The Toothpick Hack

Suppose you’re out on the town when your hinge screw breaks. What’re you going to do now? 

While this certainly shouldn’t be your first option, some people swear by using a toothpick, or even a staple, as a temporary fix. You can simply place the toothpick into the screw slot and trim any excess. It won’t last forever, but it will get you where you need to go.

Every DIY fix comes with a chance of further damage. You should consult with your optician before attempting at-home repairs.

When Your Glasses Are Beyond Repair

Accidents happen. Glasses break. Sometimes they’re too broken to fix, and Family Focus Eyecare knows that can sting. People who wear glasses use them to express themselves, and it’s normal to get attached to your favorite pair.

Our team is ready to help you.  We excel at finding eyeglasses that fit your specific lifestyle and budget. We can’t fix the past, but if it’s time to find your new favorite pair of glasses, contact us and we will help you see the future!

Written by Dr. Joseph Rich

Dr. Joseph D. Rich moved to Columbia shortly after completing his doctorate at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. Growing up and completing his undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, and business management at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, Dr. Rich considers himself a full-fledged Mizzou fan and actively enjoys going to as many games as possible.
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