How to get a great pair of glasses

By Brett Abney, O.D. - Abney Amstutz Eye Centers


Getting the best vision correction starts by getting a thorough history by the optometrist or optical staff.

We all have different visual demands and some can be quite complicated, so it’s always best to get accurate measurements and lens options from the optometrist’s office. The demands of someone who drives most of the day differ from someone who works at a computer. For those of us over forty, our ability to read is not like someone who is in their twenties.

Picking eyeglass frames and lenses shouldn’t be rocket science. The right frames depend on face shape, face width, facial complexion, hair color, frame material and the amount of prescription in the lenses. To get the thinnest and lightest glasses, the frame needs to fit just right to maximize vision and appearance.

Although picking the right frame is important, the right lenses are what make a great pair of glasses. Lenses are available in conventional plastic, polycarbonate and hi-index materials. The higher the prescription, the greater the need for polycarbonate and hi-index lenses.

For people who suffer seeing at far and near, a bifocal, trifocal or progressive lens is necessary. A bifocal has a line just below the center of the lens where reading is better. A trifocal has an extra line above the bifocal line to help read at arm’s length. These are important for seeing computers, grocery shelves and dashboard instruments.

A progressive lens provides vision at all distances but has the added advantage of not having lines. This is the most popular selection because of its utility and appearance.

To make the lenses as clear as possible, an Anti-Reflective coating needs to be added. This coating blocks glare at night and blocks reflections during the day. It also provides an extra scratch protection.

A last option to consider when getting a pair of glasses is sun protection. This can be accomplished by getting a changeable tint or polarized prescription lenses.

The next time you need to upgrade your eyeglasses, make sure the optometrist or optician explains all of these options.


By Brett Abney, O.D.

Abney Amstutz Eye Centers

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