Eye Wear Performance
Getting The Eyewear Performance You Want . . .
When you fill a prescription for medicine, you get exactly what your doctor prescribed, no matter who fills that prescription. When you fill a prescription for lenses, your lenses will have the same light-bending properties no matter who fills the prescription, however the performance of your new eyewear can vary greatly depending on the frame you select and on the skill and experience of the person who does the lens design.
The positioning of your eyes, nose, and ears, your pupil size and how they respond to changing light, and how you plan to use your new eyewear are among the factors that should be considered when filling your lens prescription. Your doctor should make some recommendations about the type of lenses that should be used and how they should be fitted at the end of the exam. If that doesn’t happen –ask. No one knows more about your eyes and vision than the doctor who just examined you.
Most patients have four goals when they purchase new eyewear. They want to see well. They want to look good. They want to be comfortable. And, they want to get good value. Your doctor can make suggestions in all four areas, but you should be able to say which of the four areas is most important, which is least important, and where the other two rank.
Strangely enough, the lenses that are the lightest may have to be thicker, and the lenses that are thinnest may have to be heavier. Not only that, but the lenses that look the best may not allow you to see the best. To complicate matters further the most expensive lens designs may or may not give you the best combination of performance, appearance, and comfort. Also the frame that looks the best, may not be the best for your prescription. Here are some tips that should help:
- AR (anti-reflective) lenses give better performance than standard lenses because they remove problems of internally reflected light. They also look better because they make your eyes more visible and give a more natural appearance to your face. A top quality AR lens is almost like taking the lens away and leaving the prescription in place. AR lenses are a good value, but be sure the ones you get resist smudges, wear well, and are anti-stat (meaning they don’t allow static electricity to attract dust after they are cleaned). As with anything else, AR lenses come in a range of qualities – you will do best with the quality recommended by your doctor.
- Ultra large and ultra small frames, especially frames that are quite shallow from the top of the lenses to the bottoms can create additional expense for the lenses and may also not work well for your prescription. If your doctor or the technician who helps with frame selection and who takes the eyewear measurements says the frame you chose is not a good idea, listen to them. And choose again.
- Tell what you liked, and what you didn’t like about your previous eyewear. This helps both the doctor and the technician guide you to the better choices in frames, and it also helps them make the best technical decisions about the lens design, material, and curvatures.
- Lenses that lighten and darken automatically can be really comfortable, but for driving or indoor lighting (e.g. fluorescent lighting) they may not be as effective as other tinted lenses. This is because they work on available ultraviolet light.
- When you look into the mirror, stay back a few feet to get the best idea of how the frame looks on your face. Also, with your head straight (i.e. chin not tipped up or tucked in) your pupils should fall a little more than halfway from the bottom of the lenses to the top. (The technician can help you with this.)
- If you are fashion concious, don’t expect one pair of glasses to look “best” for every outfit or social situation. If you pick an“average” one-style-for-everything, it will probably not look“best” for anything.
- There are special glasses for computer use, reading, coin collecting, sports, bright sun, and for eye protection. If you have a special need, mention it to the doctor. It’s the only way you can really learn about all the options for the best, safest, and most comfortable vision.