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:
When choosing a frame for prescription eyewear, it is important to not only consider the style of the frame, but also the size, shape, the type of lenses being used, and the materials of the frame. 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.
Before making a decision on a frame, always consider the type of lenses needed and whether the frame selected is a suitable choice. Frames are made from a variety of materials, ranging from acetates and hard plastics to metals and metal alloys. 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. 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. Bifocal or progressive lenses have multiple viewing areas to help correct vision that fails at multiple distance points. 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. There are also a number of coating options that you can add onto lenses to enhance certain characteristics such as anti-reflective coatings, blue protection, 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.
Caring for your Eyewear
When it comes to prescription lens care, there’s a simple rule that, if followed, will virtually guarantee years of optimum performance from your glasses: "If they’re not on your face, then keep your eyeglasses in a case." Trouble is, no one really follows that simple rule all of the time. If you, like so many of us, don’t always use a solid case to store your prescription glasses, then the following lens care and maintenance tips will go a long way toward maintaining your healthy sight.
Keep it clean. Keep it simple. To wash your prescription eyeglass lenses, eye care professionals suggest you gently rub your lenses clean with your fingers using warm, soapy water. Rinse them, and then pat them dry with a clean, soft cloth. Many optical suppliers sell ultra-fine, machine-washable microfiber lens cleaning cloths that trap dirt and dust. Try to avoid rubbing prescription lenses with rags, facial tissues or paper towels, as they could scratch your lenses. And definitely avoid using household cleaners, acetone or soaps with cream—as chemicals may damage your frames.
Keep glasses on your nose, not on your head. Prescription eyeglass lenses are designed to rest on your nose in front of your eyes, not on the top of your head. Frames can become misaligned in this manner, making even the cleanest of lenses less than effective if not positioned properly in front of the eye.