How to Buy Glasses: 5 Tips For Finding the Perfect Pair
Three out of four American adults need corrective lenses, and often, many of these people have to find new glasses every year or two. A change in prescription may be a common reason to buy new glasses, but it's not the only one. Perhaps you're looking for a pair of glasses with the latest in fashion trends, a scratch-resistant lens to suit your active lifestyle, or simply because, after so much wear and tear, it's time to upgrade an old pair.
Fortunately, shopping for glasses can be fun, but it can also be daunting and overwhelming if you aren't prepared or don't know how to buy glasses. Also, finding new glasses can be costly and a huge investment, both in terms of money and time. Since you'll be wearing your eyeglasses all day, every day, it's crucial to find a pair that's comfortable and stylish, as well as affordable. So, here are a few important tips that can help you find the perfect pair of glasses:
#1. Update Your Prescription
Before shopping, you should make sure your eyeglasses prescription is up-to-date. This will help you determine what type of lenses you need and ensure that you're investing in a pair of glasses that will benefit your vision and overall eye health. Staying updated with your prescription is essential to maintain eye health and help treat common eye problems.
Typically, eyeglasses prescriptions are valid for a minimum of one year or as required by local state law. If you have a higher-than-normal risk of your eyes changing in vision quality, you may need a new prescription to accommodate your situation. It is important to choose an eye doctor you trust so that you feel confident and comfortable for your checkups. For your convenience, try to find an eye doctor in your area who can examine your eyes before you go shopping.
Prepare For Your Eye Exam
Whenever you get your eyes examined, here are a few things to consider and prepare before your visit:
- Provide a list of previous visits, eye doctors, etc. (if available)
- A list of questions or concerns you have about your eye health
- Don't forget to bring your old pair of eyeglasses
You should receive a copy of your eyeglasses prescription once your eyesight exam is complete. In some cases, many optometrists will not include your pupil distance on your prescription unless you ask.
Measure Your Pupillary Distance
Pupillary distance (PD) is an important measurement used to make accurate prescription glasses. It takes the distance, in millimeters, between your pupils (i.e., the center of your eyes) and provides eyeglasses manufacturer the necessary details to put the optical center for each lens. Whenever you're shopping for eyeglasses online, you'll need your pupil distance to ensure you are investing in a pair of glasses with optimal accuracy.
If you are unable to get this from your optometrist, you can measure your own pupil distance:
1. Ask a friend or family member for help
2. Get a ruler and hold it up to the bridge of your nose
3. Have your helper close one eye
4. Align the ruler's "zero" with the center of your left pupil (i.e., the black spot in the middle of your eye)
5. Without moving the ruler, take two or three measurements by reading the millimeter line in the center of the other pupil
Consider Your Lifestyle
What kind of glasses would be best suited for your lifestyle? Take a moment to consider all the activities you do while wearing your eyeglasses.
If you spend a lot of time reading, you may enjoy a portable pair of reading glasses to keep in your pocket with on-the-go. Always outdoors? You can get a pair of polarized prescription sunglasses customized to your prescription. Or, check out the latest designer glasses trends to find the perfect pair for that special occasion.
These are general concepts, but you really need to think about how you go about your life. This is why progressive lenses have become so popular. Many people love their progressive lenses, which enable you to see in the distance and also when reading, without removing your glasses or finding a pair of readers. For example, if you drive to the grocery store you will need your distance lenses for that. When you get there, you will need reading glasses to read the labels. It is very convenient to have one pair of glasses to do that. However, while progressive lenses are good for about 80% of people, some people to experience problems with progressive lenses.
Once you know the type of glasses you need to match your way of life, there are a few more things to consider.
Think About Your Preferences
Next, consider your personal preferences for glasses. What styles do you like? What frame shapes and colors do you prefer? And do you think certain styles look better on your face, or with your hair or clothing style?
You'll likely be wearing your glasses frequently, in all different settings, and while wearing different clothes from your wardrobe. Since you'll be wearing them often, be sure to find glasses that you actually like wearing while making you feel good.
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding different types of frames, lenses, and coatings.
Eyeglasses Can Complement Your Face
Here are the best glasses for a specific face type:
- Oval - People with an oval face are ideal for their balanced proportions. Typically wide or walnut-shaped frames are most suitable. However, they're fortunate because they'll often look great with every type of frame.
- Heart-Shaped - Having a wider forehead with a narrowing chin can reveal softer features; frames should be wider at the bottom for a balanced look. Thin, light-colored frames, and rimless frames are also a great choice to enhance appearance.
- Round - People with a round face can choose a rectangular glasses shape to minimize the roundness of their face, or, choose a more round shape in order to emphasize and glorify a round face shape.
- Square - People with a square face usually have a strong jaw. Since the width and the length of the face have similar proportions, narrow frames help to make a square face look longer. A rule to follow is to find a pair of glasses with more width than depth.
- Rectangular/Oblong - An oblong face is long and narrow both at the forehead and the chin. Unlike square faces, it's better to have more depth than width to make the face seem shorter and strike a balanced appearance.
- Triangular - Faces with a narrow forehead that widens near the chin and cheek areas benefits the most from frames with a heavy accent at the top. Cat-eye frames would be a great recommendation!
#4. Shop Around
Don't settle for anything less than the glasses you want. Be sure to shop around and consider many different options when looking for a new pair of glasses.
You can find glasses conveniently located at your optometrist's office. However, there are plenty of places to buy glasses online that offer an enormous selection and more affordable prices.
According to research by the Vision Council, many Americans are using the internet for online "window shopping." By searching through online retailers, they can conduct research, find discounts on brands and frames, and look for locations nearby to purchase glasses in-person.
Eyeglasses for Men & Women
The internet can also be used to see the latest trends in fashion for women’s glasses. Styles are fast-changing and whether you want something professional, stylish, vintage, or funky -- you can find any style that suits your preference.
This also applies when shopping for men’s glasses. There’s a wide range of top-rated styles available for prescription lenses, as well as for reading glasses or non-prescription fashion accessories.
Shopping for glasses online is becoming easier than ever and a great way to discover the hottest options on the market. Best of all, some online retailers have a Virtual Try-On which allows you to see how you'd look before deciding to buy.
#5. Commit to the Perfect Pair
Have you finally found a pair of glasses you completely love? When you do find that pair, don’t hesitate to commit completely, even if they’re a little more expensive than you’d like.
Even though glasses can be costly, they’re worth it to invest in a pair you truly love instead of settling for a glasses you don’t especially like. Remember, you’ll be wearing your glasses often and just because you can save a little money, you’ll be stuck with glasses you never really wanted.
Fortunately, there are ways you can save so that you can get the pair you want, no matter the price tag. If you have vision insurance, you can save a considerable amount of money on your eyeglasses. With some plans, you can enjoy more than 50% in savings on retail prices.
So, before you make the final decision to buy a pair of glasses, check in with your insurance company to see which ways you can save so that you can spend more to have the perfect pair.