Your glasses can transform not only your vision but your appearance. They almost become part of the face you present to the world because people see you wearing them from the moment you get up. It can be daunting to make a decision at your optometrist’s on the fly, so we thought we should let you know what your options are when looking for your next style-defining pair.
Types of Frames
Frames are what most people think of when they picture glasses, so the choice here will begin with a choice of material. In general, your frames can be metal types or plastic types. Some people have allergies to metal, so you’ll have to decide whether metal is okay for your skin.
Titanium frames are high in strength, low in weight, and rustproof — and they’re hypoallergenic, so they won’t irritate the skin of those with metal sensitivities. These are great for people looking for durability.
Flexon is a titanium alloy, mixed with metals that make it exceptionally flexible, so it can resume shape even after it’s been bent or twisted. Also, like titanium, it’s lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and hypoallergenic. This material is best for those who play sports with their glasses on.
Monel is an alloy sometimes containing nickel. Nickel can act as an irritant, but they can be coated by a hypoallergenic. They’re often chosen for being rustproof and flexible.
Beryllium is valuable but less expensive than titanium. Like titanium, it’s lightweight, robust, flexible, and therefore, easy for your optometrist to adjust. It’s exceptionally corrosion-resistant, so you can bring beryllium frames into the sea or the ocean without much degradation.
Stainless steel is a lot more economical and quite durable. It’s light but not that light compared to titanium frames.
Aluminum is strong, lightweight, and flexible. It’s also somewhat corrosion-resistant.
Plastic frames have become popular choices in recent years. But the differences between the plastics used might not be obvious.
Zyl is short for zylonite (also known as cellulose acetate). It’s economical, flexible enough for easy adjustment, and lightweight.
Cellulose acetate propionate is nylon-based, soft to the touch, and hypoallergenic. They make for adequately light and robust frames.
Blended nylon is strong and lightweight. These frames can be easily moulded to any shape, so they’re often chosen for sports safety glasses.
Optyl is a brand of epoxy resin. When heated, it’s exceptionally malleable, so it can fit faces that need special contouring. These frames are especially suited to small children for that reason.
The shape of your face might make your choice of material dependent on flexibility for dynamic adjustment.
Choosing Glasses to Suit Your Face Type
Your unique face might make some style choices better because of your face shape. Everyone’s face shape is different. Depending on the shape, certain frames complement your profile more effectively.
Round Face: Going for large, thick, and rectangular frames can provide a nice contrast with your face shape.
Oval Face: Thick square frames with a border around the lenses do a lot for this type of face.
Diamond Face: A rare face type with broad cheekbones, yet a sharply tapering jaw and forehead. This face type requires rims much more pronounced around the bridge and eyebrows than the bottom.
Heart-Shaped Face: Horn-rims or aviators look great on people with this strong forehead and sharp chin.
Of course, aside from frame type, you’ll have to choose from popular brands, each with its own subset of styles. The same frame type can come with different brand accents.
Getting the Frame Fit Right
Glasses shouldn’t move when you shake or bob your head. You can order online, but it can be hard to get the measurements of the frames to match with the measurements of your head — that is, your temples, ears, and nasal bridge — just right.
An optician has specialized tools to adjust frames to fit your face snugly, but not so much that they’re constricting. An optometrist can advise if any adjustments would be too hard on the frame’s material.
Types of Lenses
Glasses are becoming more diverse, not only in the choice of frames but also in lens type. You must decide if you want razor thin lenses or if you’re fine with thicker ones. If you have nearsightedness or farsightedness, the lenses will be concave. Convex lenses are for those with astigmatism.
In general, you’ll want to focus on first choosing lenses for health concerns. Lens materials come with a few built-in characteristics and coatings that protect the eyes. Especially important is to protect against UVA and UVB ultraviolet light. And many drivers choose the safety of anti-glare coatings for the roads at night.
To pick the right glasses, you need to understand the different lenses you can get; the listed lenses below are thinner, lighter and more scratch-resistant than older plastic lenses.
Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant and also have built-in ultraviolet protection. These are suitable for people who play sports or work where glasses can easily be damaged. If it’s for your kids, these lenses can handle how tough on their glasses they are.
The high-index plastic lens is known for powerful refractive correction. It can refract light more effectively, so you can have thinner lenses correcting for higher prescriptions. If thinner and lighter lenses work for you more than conventional thick glasses, then high-index plastic is your choice.
If you are looking for daytime anti-glare lenses, polarized sunglasses can do just that; it reduces the low angle reflection from a surface like water. It is perfect for driving and sports. On the downside, it can be challenging to make out the liquid crystal displays on your vehicle’s dashboard, so they’re best for outdoor use.
Just like polycarbonate lenses, Trivex are thin, lightweight and impact-resistant. They are made from a newer plastic similar to polycarbonate lenses.
Photochromic lenses protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays; it changes from clear to tinted as soon as the sun is out, like transition lenses. However, if you are inside, your car’s windshield can block UV rays. Photochromic comes in glass as well as plastic material.
These lenses have complicated curvature. That affords them a flatter and thinner profile, so you can position them closer to the eye. Their ability to bend light through a thin layer resembles the high-index type. Minimal and thin frames can benefit from these lenses.
Ask Your Eye Care Professional for Advice
Your lifestyle will play a part in selecting the material you choose for a set of frames. It would help to get advice on which materials will suit your average day.
The choices for glasses — both frames and lenses — can be overwhelming. Still, experienced eye care professionals can always lend a guiding hand, with health, fit, and style in mind.