selection of eye glasses

How Do I Know Which Glasses To Choose?

Selecting the perfect pair of glasses is a journey that intertwines personal style, comfort, functionality, and eye health. In the bustling landscapes of cities and the serene countryside of the UK, where fashion intertwines with practicality, finding the right glasses can feel like navigating through a maze of endless options. This guide is crafted to illuminate the path, helping you discern the pair that not only complements your visual needs but also enhances your personal style.

Understanding Your Visual Needs


The initial step in your quest for the perfect glasses begins with understanding your visual needs. An up-to-date eye examination by a qualified optometrist is paramount. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) offers free eye tests for certain groups, ensuring that your eye health is not compromised by financial constraints. Your prescription will detail not only your level of nearsightedness or farsightedness but also any astigmatism and the requirement for bifocals or varifocals. This information is the foundation upon which your choice of glasses will be built, influencing lens thickness, weight, and functionality.


Frame Shape and Facial Features


The shape of your face plays a crucial role in selecting a frame that complements your features. While fashion is subjective, there are guidelines that can steer you towards frames that harmonise with your natural aesthetics. For instance, round faces benefit from square or rectangular frames that add definition, whereas angular faces find a softening balance in round or oval frames. Consider your face's symmetry, jawline, and cheekbones. The goal is not to conform to a set standard of beauty but to choose frames that highlight your best features and express your individuality. The bridge fit is another aspect often overlooked. The bridge of your glasses should sit comfortably on your nose, ensuring the frames do not slip and are aligned with your eyes. A poor bridge fit can lead to discomfort, marking the skin or causing headaches. In the UK, with its diverse population, finding a frame that suits a wide range of bridge sizes and shapes is essential. Opticians often have ranges designed to cater to these variances, ensuring everyone can find a comfortable fit.


Material Matters


The material of your glasses impacts not only their durability but also their weight and comfort. Metal frames, often made from titanium or stainless steel, offer a sleek and modern look, coupled with strength and lightness. On the other hand, plastic frames provide a canvas for a broader spectrum of colours and designs, from the understated to the bold. For those prone to allergies, hypoallergenic materials such as acetate or titanium are advisable. Additionally, the weight of your lenses, influenced by your prescription strength, may dictate a preference for lighter frame materials to ensure overall comfort.


Colour and Personality


The colour of your frames should reflect your personal style and how you wish to present yourself to the world. Classic colours such as black, brown, or silver can offer a professional and timeless look, suitable for all occasions. Bold colours and patterns, meanwhile, can serve as an extension of your personality, making a statement and showcasing your individuality. Consider your skin tone, hair colour, and the colours you frequently wear when choosing the frame colour. In the UK's often grey weather, a pop of colour can brighten not only your outfit but also your day.


Lens Options


Advancements in lens technology have introduced a plethora of options, from anti-reflective coatings that reduce glare from screens and streetlights to photochromic lenses that adjust to light conditions, providing comfort and protection in both indoor and outdoor environments. For those spending considerable time in front of digital screens, blue light filtering lenses can alleviate eye strain and improve sleep quality. When selecting lenses, consider your daily activities and the environments you frequent. Your optician can provide tailored advice, ensuring your glasses are not only a tool for better vision but also a shield against modern-day visual challenges.


Lifestyle Considerations


Your daily activities and lifestyle play a significant role in determining the most suitable glasses. For those leading an active lifestyle, engaging in sports or outdoor activities, durability and flexibility are key. Look for frames made from materials that can withstand impact, such as polycarbonate or TR90, and consider wraparound designs that provide additional protection and stability. Sports glasses with rubber grips on the temple and nose bridge can also enhance comfort and prevent slippage. Conversely, if your lifestyle leans more towards indoor activities or work that requires prolonged screen time, focus on lens features that reduce digital eye strain. The importance of blue light filtering lenses cannot be overstated in our digitally dominated world. Moreover, for individuals who split their time between reading, working on computers, and attending meetings, varifocals may offer a seamless transition between different focal points, eliminating the need to switch between multiple pairs of glasses.


The Importance of Professional Fitting


A professional fitting by a qualified optician is crucial to ensure that your glasses not only fit well but also serve their intended purpose effectively. In the UK, many opticians offer personalised fitting services, taking into account not only the dimensions of your face but also your visual habits and lifestyle needs. A proper fitting ensures that your glasses sit at the correct height, the lenses are positioned optimally for your eyes, and the frames are comfortable for extended wear. This step cannot be overlooked, as even the most stylish and well-crafted glasses can fall short if they do not fit properly.


Frame Adjustments and Care


Over time, the fit of your glasses may change due to regular use and wear. Regular adjustments and maintenance can prolong the life of your glasses and ensure they remain comfortable. Most opticians in the UK offer aftercare services, including adjustments to the frame's alignment, tightening of screws, and replacement of nose pads. Taking advantage of these services can keep your glasses in top condition, ensuring optimal performance and comfort.


Sustainability and Ethical Considerations


In today's environmentally conscious world, the sustainability of eyewear materials has become increasingly important to many consumers. Brands that prioritise eco-friendly materials, such as recycled plastics or sustainable woods, are gaining popularity. Additionally, ethical production practices and support for charitable causes related to eye health are factors that can influence the choice of brand and frame. Opting for glasses from companies that align with your values not only allows you to make a fashion statement but also a statement about what you stand for.


The Final Selection


Ultimately, choosing the right glasses is a deeply personal decision that blends objective criteria with subjective preferences. Your glasses are an extension of your personality, a tool for better vision, and a statement about your style and values. Take your time to explore various options, consult with professionals, and consider how different frames feel on your face. Remember, the best pair of glasses is the one that you feel confident and comfortable wearing, serving your visual needs while complementing your lifestyle and personal aesthetic. Navigating the world of eyewear in the UK offers a unique opportunity to find glasses that are not just a necessity but a reflection of your individuality. Whether you're drawn to understated elegance, contemporary chic, or bold statements, the perfect pair of glasses is out there waiting for you. With the right information and guidance, the journey to finding them can be as clear as your vision will be with them on.


Goldsmith & Harvey Opticians

2 The Mall, Asda Store,
Craven Way, Longwell Green,
Bristol, BS30 7DY

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