Choosing the right glasses does not have to be complicated. However, everyone is different, from prescription requirements to personal preferences and budgets. Some people even have specific requirements that can affect their options. It’s confusing and sometimes overwhelming, which is why an optical dispenser’s help becomes crucial.
An optician is responsible for fitting your glasses. It’s therefore essential to choose an optical dispenser who’s not only experienced but also friendly. That way, you will be at ease in letting the professional know what you’re most comfortable with based on your style preferences, lifestyle, and budget.
A good optical dispenser will also guide you in selecting the best quality lenses. After all, your goal is to see clearer. Working with an experienced optical dispenser will give you all the important facts regarding the lenses and suitable frames so you can make an informed decision.
We’ve broken down the steps on how you can pick the right glasses into four.
1. Before You Buy
In the initial stage of buying eyeglasses, there are a few questions that require answers:
What is the purpose of your new glasses?
Will you be wearing the glasses for work, reading, or privately?
What does your day to day life look like?
Do you have old glasses? What did and didn’t you like about them?
Do you have a health condition that may affect your wearing of eyeglasses? (such as skin allergies?)
What frame is suitable?
Which lens coating should be used?
Here are also other essential things that you should already be aware of before your appointment:
When looking for the right frame, pick one that matches your lifestyle and vision needs. The optical dispenser will help you out here, providing suggestions that will complement your appearance and be appropriate for your lifestyle.
The lens material and power can significantly improve the comfort, functionality, and appearance of your eyeglasses. Thus, you must pick from choices that are appropriate for your situation.
Lens enhancements may be required, such as hard coatings, tints, filters, and anti-reflective coatings. For example, if you’re easily blinded by the sun, tinted lenses, particularly self-tinting ones, maybe the best option for you. These lens enhancements have added benefits so that you can wear your glasses relaxedly and without feeling tired or even awkward.
You may not immediately know what to look for when you visit – and that’s fine. Discuss your concerns and requirements with experienced optical dispensers who can guide you throughout the whole process.
2. Choosing the Right Lenses
Just like when you’re buying other products, it is helpful to know your options for spectacle lenses. So what can you choose from?
Single Vision: This type of lens is often the first pair of spectacles given to many people. Single vision lenses, as the name suggests, has a single prescription in the entire lens.
Progressive Lenses: Technology in optometry has improved rapidly, giving birth to innovations such as progressive or multifocal lenses, which are multiple vision solutions. Depending on the type of multifocal lenses, these lenses can offer multiple functions in one, such as covering near (reading), distant, and transitional (using laptops or computers, etc.) vision.
Clear Perspectives or Spectacles for Professionals: Good eyesight is critical for almost all professions. Whether you’re a dentist, beautician, or pilot, you should always be able to see clearly. As different occupations would have different environmental demands, frame and lens choices must be thoroughly considered.
Sports Spectacles: If you are a cyclist or play any non-contact sport, you need to see everything around you without worrying about blurry vision. Can you wear your eyeglasses when you wear a helmet? How about when you ski? From high-performance cycling glasses to prescription sports safety goggles, contact lenses are not the only option for sport.
Additional Lens Treatments and Coatings: Depending on your needs, there are different lens treatments and coatings that would be valuable for you. Lenses with self-tinting treatments can be a lifesaver for a glare sensitive individual who has to go indoors and outdoors all the time, or can be more practical for work and safety reasons. Lenses with blue light filters can be helpful for individuals suffering from pattern glare on computer screens or white glare from fluorescent lighting or “cold light”.
3. Selecting Your Frame
Many people make the mistake of choosing a frame purely based on how it looks. While choosing what looks good on you is important, picking the frame according to your lenses is also essential. For example, you wear progressive lenses, the frames should not be too small; otherwise, there may not be sufficient vision zones.
Ideally, when wearing your glasses, a well-fitted pair should sit comfortably on your nose and ear without applying excessive pressure on those areas and other points of contact. The optical dispenser will adapt the sides of the frame to the shape of your face, minimising the pressure at your temples and nose. This is important so you can wear your glasses comfortably, even for an extended period. Optimally fitted spectacles will make you forget that you’re wearing them.
Check that the frames are positioned a little below your eyebrows. Alternatively, your eyebrows should be directly behind the upper rims. This positioning gives you the best vision since it ensures that the lens or the frame edges do not block your view. There are certainly exceptions to this, such as look-over reading glasses where the rim is below eye level, or snooker glasses where the top rim is raised higher for a bigger viewing area when looking above eye level.
When it comes to the size of the frame, choose a frame based on the distance between your eyes and the eye socket size. Avoid frames that are much wider than your face and those that touch your cheekbones to prevent pressure points and foggy lenses.
Features such as nose pads and adjustable temples are also important factors that can affect the fit of your spectacles. They account for anatomical differences such as the height of your nose bridge or cheekbones. For instance, frames with nose pads are less likely to slip down noses and likely to fit better on thinner nose bridges.
4. After Your Purchase
At last, your spectacles are ready! While a frame and lens selection is the biggest part of the job done, before you leave, make sure that your new eyeglasses fit you perfectly. Our experienced optical dispenser will help you check your vision while wearing the eyeglasses and whether the added features are functional.
If you have progressive lenses, all zones should be working for you. Test it by walking around the room. Take as long as you need, assessing how comfortable the glasses are, as well as the clarity of your vision. Should you have any issues or difficulties, don’t hesitate to talk to our team.
Ready to find your perfect pair of glasses? Contact E Eye Place today to talk to your friendly eye care practitioners in Perth.
Stephanie is an owner optometrist, researcher and educator. She has held clinical, teaching and research roles in Australia and overseas, and has extensive training and clinical experience. Stephanie is also the head optometrist at E Eye Place, on top of this, she is also currently a PhD candidate at UNSW. Dr Stephanie Yeo Optometrist BOptom (HC1) GradCertOcTher DOPT (Merit) CO Ophthalmic Medicines Prescriber.