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Glasses

With today’s wide range of styles, shapes, lenses and functionality, choosing the right pair of glasses can be fun as well as practical.  With the ever growing connection to the fashion world, sometimes one pair is not enough when considered an accessory in your wardrobe.  You may also choose glasses for everyday wear, computer glasses or perhaps reading glasses. 

To get started, there are a few things to consider.

Your Prescription

Ensure you have a current prescription (no older than two years). The best way to ensure your prescription is accurate and your eyes are healthy is to book an eye exam. If your prescription was provided by someone giving sight tests, this prescription may not be accurate or reflect your eye health needs.  

Your doctor of optometry can help you determine the type of glasses that will provide the best fit for your lifestyle.  Whether you play sports, are on digital devices for most of your day, or only require your glasses for certain activities, your needs and lifestyle will play a role in your selection.

Frames

There are so many choices available today it is much easier to find frames that literally provide the perfect fit. An optician will help you with this process, so ensure you have selected someone you feel comfortable working with and understands your needs.

Everyone’s face is different, and an optician can help you find a frame that will comfortably fit the shape of your face.  Ask them to show you a selection of frames that will work for your face shape and accommodate your prescription, as some prescriptions may not fit certain frames.

Lenses

Once you have the perfect frame, it’s time to choose your lenses.  Your eye care professionals can help you select the best lens for your lifestyle, appearance and safety.  In addition to the options listed below, you can also choose from various tints and coatings.

Progressive Lenses
– These lenses are ideal for people who need help viewing multiple distances. They have no lines in the lens, so wearers have a better cosmetic appearance while wearing their glasses.
Lens Materials
– There are several types of lenses for you to choose from. 

Plastic is usually a thick material that is not shatterproof or impact resistant.  It’s an older technology and is often the least expensive option.

Polycarbonate is thinner and lighter than plastic, and also offers the benefit of UV protection.  From a safety and durability perspective, it is shatterproof and impact resistant. It is often the best choice for children and youth.

Polarized lenses are both a safe and comfortable option for outdoor protection of your eyes, with the combination of UV protection and glare reduction.

Photochromic lenses will automatically adjust from clear to dark when you go outdoors, and will revert back when you return indoors.  They typically darken within a minute of exposure to bright light, and take somewhat longer to clear.

No-glare lenses virtually eliminate reflections and the halos around streetlights and headlights. Also, artificial light in an office environment can lead to eye fatigue, and these lenses can help reduce eyestrain associated with computer work and fluorescent lighting.

Digitally surfaced lenses are customized for your specific needs and are especially beneficial for progressive lens wearers.  Similar to the difference between standard and high-definition television, digitally surfaced lenses can help provide more crisp and sharper vision.

Fitting Your Frame

Your optician will take several measurements to ensure the lenses are placed correctly in your frames for your eyes.  When the glasses arrive in the clinic, they will also ensure the glasses sit properly on your nose bridge and around your ears.

Online Ordering

It may seem easy, but are you really getting the best glasses for you and your eyes?  Poorly manufactured or poorly fitted glasses can cause eye strain, headaches, pulling and blurred vision.

There are many factors a trained optical dispenser will use to convert an eyeglass prescription into quality glasses that provide clear, comfortable vision.

These include:

  • Measurement of your interpupillary distance (PD) at both distance and near focal points.
  • Measurement of the optical centres (OC) in order to avoid eyestrain and pulling.
  • Determination of the most appropriate type and index of lenses to match your prescription and your lifestyle/work environment.
  • Appropriate base curve determination to control magnification, especially in cases where there is a difference between the curvatures of your eyes.
  • Proper selection of frame size, eye size, bridge width, temple length, shape, wrap, material and overall fit to ensure comfort and vision with minimal distortion and a cosmetically acceptable lens thickness.

When you receive your glasses, they will also ensure your glasses have been manufactured properly and fit your face correctly to ensure ideal vision.

Computer Glasses

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Alberta Association of Optometrists, adults are spending an average of 10.5 hours using digital devices every day, and children are spending an average of more than five hours a day using digital devices at home and at school.  Because regular-wear glasses are often not well suited for prolonged computer work, speak to your doctor of optometry about computer glasses.

Without the appropriate eyewear, computer users can often end up with blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches – the hallmark of digital eye strain.  They may also be over compensating for their blurred vision by learning forward, or by tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses.  These unnatural postures can lead to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and backaches.

Computer glasses can make all the difference.  These are special-purpose glasses prescribed specifically to reduce eyestrain and give you the most comfortable vision at your computer. Because these lenses are prescribed specifically for computer use, they are unsuitable for driving or regular-wear. 

The glasses should accurately correct any astigmatism you might have, and precise measurements should be taken to ensure the optical centre of each lens is directly in front of your pupils when you are using your preferred working distance from your screen.  Prior to scheduling your eye exam, measure from the bridge of our nose to the surface of your computer screen.  Bring this measurement with you to your eye exam so your doctor of optometry can determine the optimum lens power for your computer glasses.

Your doctor of optometry may also recommend adding an anti-reflective coating to eliminate reflection of light from the front and back surfaces of your lenses that can cause eye strain, photochromic lenses that can shield your eyes from potentially harmful high-energy visible blue light from your computer screen and digital devises, or adding a light tint to reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting and to enhance contrast.

Always consult a knowledgeable eye care professional when purchasing eyewear.

Cleaning Your Glasses

Approximately 55 percent of Canadians wear glasses as their primary means of vision correction, so learning how to correctly clean your glasses is important to clear vision. 

What you clean your glasses with is just as important as how they are cleaned. Clothing, napkins, tissues and paper towels all carry fibers that will scratch the lens.  The best way to clean your glasses is to rinse under warm water, put a drop of dish soap between your fingers and use them to clean all parts of the frame, rinse the glasses with warm water again and dry with a clean lens cloth.