Modern eyewear serves a dual purpose. In addition to being a vision-correcting medical device used to enhance your safety and quality of life, eyeglasses have become a major fashion accessory. Therefore, when it comes to selecting eyeglasses, there are many important factors to consider.
Frames are made from a large variety of materials ranging from acetates and hard plastics to metals and metal alloys. The quality of frame materials is very high nowadays with many cutting-edge manufacturers investing heavily in developing new innovations and materials to make stronger, more flexible, lighter and more beautiful frames.
In considering the optimal material for your eyeglass frame, your lifestyle plays a big role. Children and those with active lifestyles require durable and flexible frames that are resistant to breaks from hits and falls. Those who have skin allergies need to seek out frames made from hypoallergenic materials such as acetate, titanium or stainless steel. Other characteristics of frame materials to consider are the weight or flexibility of the material as well as the price. Many designers also use wood, bone or precious metals to adorn frames.
Hinges and nosepads also play an important role in the durability and comfort of your frames. Children in particular can benefit from spring hinges and nosepads which can keep the frames from slipping off. Rimless or semi-rimless glasses are also an option if durability is not a primary concern.
Frame size is a very important factor in frame selection. Frames should fit well and not slip off the nose or be too tight and press against the temples or the sides of the nose.
More and more top fashion design brands are coming out with designer eyewear collections to suit every taste and style. Frames come in all colors, sizes and shapes so the choices are endless in finding a frame that suits your personal style and looks good with your face shape and coloring.
Even though people spend much more time focusing on frame selection, as a medical device, the lenses of your eyeglasses are the most important part. It is therefore very important that you obtain your lenses (and therefore your glasses) from a reputable source. It is always best to buy eyeglasses through an eye doctor who is able to check that the lenses are made and fitted properly to ensure your best possible vision.
There are a number of variables to consider in selecting lenses.
If you have a high prescription that requires thicker lenses, you may want to ask for aspheric lenses, which are thinner than normal lenses.
There are lenses that are made from materials that are more durable and shatter-resistant such as polycarbonate or trivex, which can be useful for children or sports eyewear.
Photochromic lenses can serve as eyeglasses and sunglasses as the lenses darken when exposed to the sunlight to block out the sunlight and UV rays.
Polarized lenses create greater eye comfort by reducing glare specifically from the water or snow and are great for sunglasses for those that spend time outdoors.
There are also a number of coating options that you can add onto lenses to enhance certain characteristics such as anti-reflective coatings, anti-scratch coatings or UV coatings to reduce exposure from the sun. Adding a coating may require special cleaning or treatment, so ask your eye doctor or optician about special instructions.
Eyeglasses Over 40
Once you approach age 40, you are likely to begin to experience presbyopia, which is the loss of the ability to focus on close objects. This happens as the eye begins to age and can easily be corrected with reading glasses. However, if you already have an eyeglass prescription for distance vision, you will need a solution that enables you to see your best both near and far.
There are a number of options available for presbyopes including bifocals, multifocals and progressive lenses, with new technology improving the options all the time. You should speak to your eye doctor about the best solution for your individual needs.
Whether they are for a child’s first pair, a second pair of designer frames or a senior with a complicated prescription, you should always consult with your eye doctor for a new pair of glasses. Ultimately, your eyeglasses have a job and that is to help you to see your best to get the most out of every day.
Lens Options for Eyeglasses
An in-depth look at eyeglass lens options that goes beyond basic glass or plastic lenses.
How can you narrow down your options and choose the style of frames that are best for you?
Women’s Eyeglass Frames
Lens Options for Eyeglasses
If you thought the trickiest part of choosing a new pair of glasses was the frame selection, think again. You should be putting just as much thought and consideration into the lenses that you select for your new specs.
Here’s why: The quality and type of lenses in your eyeglasses will not only correct your visual acuity, but they will allow you to continue to see your best through various conditions. Whether it is keeping the lenses free from scratches, fog, glare or UV rays, or making them stronger or more attractive, your eyeglass lenses can help to keep your eyes safe and comfortable wherever the day (or night) takes you.
Here are a variety of coatings that you can apply to your lenses to maintain optimal vision and comfort and to protect your lenses and your eyes.
Anti-reflective (AR) also known as anti-glare coatings help reduce the reflections and glare on your lenses, improving your vision and comfort in high-glare environments, and the look of your glasses as well (you can see your eyes clearly without a reflection on the front of the lens). Reflections from the sun, television and computer screens and bright lights (especially when driving at night) can cause eye strain, headaches and difficulty seeing. AR coatings and lenses can reduce this effect, improving your vision quality and comfort in these circumstances.
Scratch Resistant Coatings
Scratches not only affect the smooth look of the surface of your glasses but they can disrupt your vision. A scratch-resistant coating adds an extra layer of protection on the surface of the lens to significantly reduce scratching. This coating is particularly great for kids who may tend to be a little more rough with their eyewear.
Ultraviolet (UV) coatings protect your eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun. This coating can turn standard lenses into UV blocking lenses that can block 100% of the UV light from entering your eyes. UV is linked to the development of a number of eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal damage.
Particularly if you live in a cold climate, you may have experienced walking indoors from the cold and having your glasses lenses fog up completely. This can take a few minutes to resolve and can be dangerous if you are driving or need to see clearly. Anti-fog coatings will eliminate this effect, creating a smooth transition from cold to hot environments.
You may want to go with an upgraded lens to improve the look, strength or functionality of your glasses.
High Index Lenses
High index lenses have a higher refractive index which means they reflect more light than standard prescription lenses. What this means for you, the consumer, is that they can be made thinner and lighter than traditional lenses. High index lenses are particularly popular with those that need a high prescription as they are able to avoid thick lenses, adding comfort and a smoother look, but a higher price tag.
Trivex or Polycarbonate Lenses
Trivex or polycarbonate lenses are impact resistant lenses – a fantastic choice for sports and safety eyewear as well as standard sunglasses and eyeglasses for active types or kids. These lenses also offer full UV protection and are lightweight for optimal comfort.
Polychromatic lenses are made with special technology that turns them into sunglasses when exposed to sunlight. The lenses darken automatically when you go outside and return to normal when you go back indoors. Polychromatic lenses can come in a number of tint colors and are great when you need prescription sunglasses but don’t want to carry around or pay for another pair.
Aspheric lenses use advanced technology to create a slimmer, flatter and lighter lens than standard prescription lenses. While aspheric lenses can improve the appearance of any prescription lens, they are especially beneficial for those who are farsighted since those lenses tend to bulge out in the middle.
So the next time you are in the market for new eyeglasses, speak to your optometrist or optician about the best lens choices for your eyes, your vision and your lifestyle.
Are you in the market or mood for a new pair of eyeglasses? The selection is vast, with many fashionable, attractive pairs of glasses to browse through. How can you narrow down your options and choose the style of frames that are best for you?
Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Eyewear
- What’s my taste? Do I prefer a bold or subtle expression? Do I favor modern lines, a retro look or more conservative, classic styles?
- Where do I plan to wear these frames- at work, in the backyard, or for social outings?
- What colors work best with my skin and hair tones?
- What are the primary colors in my wardrobe?
- What’s the shape of my face?
- Do I like my current eyeglasses? If not, then what’s the problem?
Bring this information to your optician when you pay a visit to the eyeglass store, and most of the work will already be done! Your optician, who is highly skilled and an expert in fitting your eyewear will be able to hone in quickly on the eyeglasses that are most suitable.
How to Judge Fit and Comfort
Research conducted by the eyewear industry indicates that women pay more attention to how eyeglasses appear on their face, while men are more interested in how they feel and fit. Yet even if looks are your primary concern, if your eyeglasses aren’t comfortable – you won’t be pleased for long.
To judge the fit of frames when trying them on:
- Frames should be wide enough for your face and not too snug on sides of your head. The edges of your eyeglasses should extend beyond the sides of your face. This ensures that the temples won’t press in on your head as they rest on your ears.
- The curves at the end of each temple should go past your ear without pushing down on it. If they don’t, then the temples aren’t long enough.
- The built-in nose piece or silicone nose pads should fit comfortably and firmly, without pinching the bridge of your nose. Silicone nose pads can generally be adjusted.
- Your glasses should be able to stay in place when you move your head to and fro. Nod a few times, turn your head right and left, and bend over to touch the floor. Make sure that your glasses don’t slip off.
Is One Pair of Eyeglasses Enough?
Take a look at your closet. You likely own more than one pair of shoes, right? Unless you’re on a very tight budget, more than one pair of eyeglasses isn’t a luxury. Eyewear is a hip accessory, and the same pair may not be appropriate for all parts of your modern lifestyle. Just like your clothing, your eyeglass needs differ for home, work and social occasions.
If owning a solitary pair is enough for you, then choose frames that you love and feel good about no matter what you’re wearing or where you go. These eyeglasses will be on your face constantly, so take your time and pick a style that fits your unique personality and vision requirements.
WOMEN’S EYEGLASS FRAMES
Women’s eyeglasses have come a long way in the last few decades and in today’s eyewear market there is an abundance of options. With constant innovations in style, comfort, and quality, eyeglasses have become as much a fashion accessory as a medical device to improve vision. In addition to all of the optical companies creating eyeglass frames, many of the major designer fashion lines have come to incorporate eyewear into their portfolios as well. So, when it’s time for a new pair, where does a woman start?
When you shop at an optical store, the optician is trained to help you select the right pair of frames. This decision should take into consideration your personal style, your lifestyle and your appearance. The right frame will look great with your complexion, coloring and face shape, feel comfortable and suit your needs in terms of flexibility, durability, cost and style.
The best way to make the shopping process a success is to have some ideas of what you want before you go in. This will help the optician narrow down the options. Here are some questions to ask yourself in advance of your visit to the optician:
- What shape eyewear looks good with my facial structure? If you currently have eyeglasses, do you want a similar shape?
- What color eyewear compliments my complexion? What colors do I like? What colors are predominant in my wardrobe?
- What style do I prefer? Modern or retro? Classic or contemporary?
- Where do I wear my frames in general? To work, out on the town?
- Do I play sports or engage in activities that would require durable glasses?
- Do I have young kids that might pull my glasses off?
- How much am I willing to spend on my eyeglasses?
- Do I want to get coatings on my glasses (anti-scratch, anti-glare etc) or consider transition lenses that darken in the sun?
Armed with this information, your optician will have a much easier time assisting you in finding the perfect pair.
Once you have narrowed down the options, you want to make sure that the pair you choose fits well and will be comfortable for extended use. You don’t want to have any reason not to wear your new eyeglasses!
Make sure the frames are the right width for your face – that they don’t slide off when you look down or press on your temples or behind your ears. The frames should be snug but not cause any pressure. Also pay attention to whether they fit comfortably across the bridge of the nose.
Lastly, make sure that your eyes are completely within the frame where the lenses go so you are not looking over the top of the frame.
If you can’t find one perfect pair, you can always consider buying a second pair. This way you can mix and match depending on your outfit and your mood.