I’m rough on my glasses. Every pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses I’ve ever owned takes a pounding worse than Travis Barker’s snare drum! Of course, the cheaper frames I’ve ever bought caught the brunt of it, and they never came out alive.
You know the scenario. You take your glasses off and toss them onto your coffee table or dresser. You drop your glasses and step on them. You crush them while they’re in your pocket. You may even feed them to your lawn mower in extreme cases. Either way, your eyeglasses are served with any manner of disrespect your mind can conjure.
The only eyeglasses that have withstood this abuse are the ones I’ve owned that had flexible hinges.
With flexible (or flex) hinges on your eyeglasses, the arms can extend beyond the perpendicular angle of your frames. What does this mean? It means that instead of breaking at the hinge when stretched beyond capacity, the hinge on your eyeglasses will flex to compensate for the aberrant pressure.
In short, your flex hinged glasses are more forgiving than glasses without them.
As the optical industry matures, flex hinges are becoming the standard rather than the exception. More and more manufacturers realize that there is a market for people who are ‘less than delicate’ with their eyeglasses. Customers also understand that rough handling reduces the life of their glasses (no surprise), but it’s also abusive to their wallets. The smartest consumers realize that their trips to the optician are starting to become more frequent than trips to the gas station. Not good.
Eyeglasses with flex-hinges are certainly not indestructible, nor will they withstand unrelenting punishment. But you can expect them to be more forgiving when they are exposed to every day wear and tear – and the occasional lawn mower feeding.
The next time you’re in the market for new eyeglasses, consider first whether you treat your frames like a Faberge’ egg or like a rodeo clown. For the latter, consider flex hinged glasses for your next purchase, and your optician probably won’t see you again for a few years!