The wonderful thing about wearing glasses is that not only does everybody instantly think you’re more clever, but you can use your eyewear as an accessory just like any other you own.
Fashionable eyewear began as soon as opticians were able to change the shape of a lens without affecting its vision-correcting properties. From the deeply unfashionable 1950’s NHS frames through to the horn-rimmed and cat’s eye frames of the 60’s and all the way to the present day, where NHS frames are highly fashionable as retro-chic, we love glasses as a way to speak more about the sort of person we are.
While lots of people get excited about choosing new glasses, it becomes a decision like choosing new shoes or holiday beachwear; we choose frames based on current fashion or because somebody else has glasses we like.
The problem with making an aesthetic decision is that you also need to consider if the glasses fit properly as well as if they look good. Wearing badly fitting glasses can have a number of problems, not in the least being uncomfortable or even painful.
If you have any discomfort or pain when wearing your glasses, it means that the fit is incorrect. If this is the case, you won’t be inclined to wear them, especially for extended periods. At the very least, it’ll prevent you from getting the benefit of both the corrective lenses that you need and the fashion benefit you carefully chose. At worst, it will mean that you may not wear glasses when you really need to, such as at the end of a long drive which could even be dangerous.
The good news is that getting well-fitted glasses only involves a few key areas. The first is across the bridge of the nose, which is where most of the weight of the frames and lenses rests, so improperly adjusted frames can easily cause discomfort. If a set of frames doesn’t fit, it doesn’t mean that you have a big nose, just that you may need a slightly wider frame!
Another area where weight is carried is at the end of the sides that curve over the ears. Used to make sure that the frame remains stable, you may find that the sides may sometimes come a little short and curve too early, which can cause rubbing and sore spots. Your optometrist, in most cases, will be able to resolve this issue with some skill, a little heat and a talent to make the frame touch the ears at the perfect point! Also, if you get "tramlines" in the side of your head when you remove your glasses, this means that they are fitting too small, and again could benefit with some adjustment.
With children, we have to remember that they grow very quickly. If you are lucky enough to have a child who looks after their glasses and doesn't have to come in for regular repairs, they may go a whole year between visits. At certain points, a year can be a very long time, and a lot of growth can occur, sometimes it's worth popping in to have them refitted as your child grows. If they grow out of their frame, you will find that we can issue a repair on the NHS even before they are next due.
As well as the adjustable elements of your glasses, there are some general pieces of good advice when choosing the styles and frames of your new glasses. It’s best to avoid some larger frames if there’s a chance that the lower section may rub against your cheek, which over time becomes uncomfortable. We always get people to give us a big smile to see if this is likely to happen. If you’re an active person, frames with high tops that come up to or above the eyebrow may be problematic if you take a knock, which could damage either you or the frames.
By going to a good optometrist, you’ll find that you not only get great advice about the sort of glasses you need but also a pair of properly fitted frames and, best of all, a great second opinion about what suits you from a professional who helps people choose glasses every single day.
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