This $5 Buy Made My Summer 100x Better

A photo posted by Connie Wang (@conconwang) on

I’ve had to wear glasses since I was eight years old, and I’ve never had a great time with them. They’d never stay put, they’d slide off my nose, and they’d pinch the sides of my head so badly that I’d get tension headaches within an hour. They were such a pain in the ass (skull?) to wear that as soon as I got contacts in the eighth grade, I never again wore glasses out of the house. That is, until a couple of years ago when my ophthalmologist struggled to figure out what my new prescription was since I was seeing blurry at every degree, and ultimately determined that after nearly two decades of covering my eyeballs in plastic every single day, they had staged a revolt. Not to get too gross, but my eyes had grown new blood vessels because they weren’t getting enough oxygen, and it was artificially clouding my vision. The prescription he wrote? Mandatory glasses-only days, for at least two days every week.

For the rest of that winter, especially after I discovered “Asian fit” eyewear that actually feels comfortable on my head, I was wearing them regularly — and for the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed it. Then summer hit, the temperatures started rising, and I literally could not keep my glasses from sliding off the bridge of my nose. I bent the arms as far as they could go, but they’d still droop off my nose, and in one particularly desperate moment, I applied deodorant to my nose in order to keep the nosepads from slipping down (spoiler alert: It didn’t work).

Then, fall came around and the glasses went back on. But as the months started progressing toward summer, I started getting nervous again. Yet just like my previous epiphany that took place in China, where there are literally half a billion people with the same problem that I have, I also found the solution to my sweaty-slidey problem. When getting fitted for a new pair of specs, I complained about my summer fear, and the optometrist brought out a package of what looked like clear plastic corn nuts. He fit one to each arm of my glasses and sent me out the door into the 90-degree heat. My glasses stayed put, even though I was sweating buckets.

I went home and bought a dozen more, and fitted them onto every pair of frames I owned, including all my sunglasses. Online, they’re called ear hooks, eyeglass retainers, anti-slide locks, rubber glasses stops, and Keepons (the brand that owns this niche industry). They range from $5 to $10, and come in clear and black, though both are virtually invisible, especially if you’re wearing your hair down. They're painless to clean, stay put but are easily removable, and are soft and non-allergenic, so your sensitive ears can rest easy.

Yes, these are dorky — it’s like putting orthopedic footbeds in a pair of comfort sandals, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to keep blood vessels from taking over her eyeballs. Whether that’s the problem that ails you, or you just want to wear your glasses when there’s a chance of shvitzing, this tiny little buy will transform your summer.

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