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Glasses are a necessary evil for some and a fashion statement for others. Some people have no choice but to accept their existence in their life because without them they're like:

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Whatever your stance on glasses, when you wear them, you want to make sure you look your best.

There are so many types of glasses.

Well, those may not be the best for everyday wear, but they sure do look snazzy.

For you, though, there are many functional choices, so narrowing it down to what makes you look your best can seem like a daunting task.

But never fear!

We're here to help you make sense of all the shapes and styles to figure out which pair of glasses suit you.

So, You Need Glasses

beautiful woman with an eye glasses

You may not remember that moment when you first found out you needed glasses, but even if you don't, the chances are good you do remember the moment you slipped on that first pair.

It is like a whole new world. You notice things you never did before because everything is so much clearer.

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There are many reasons why you may need glasses. And it's important that you get a proper diagnosis so you can get the right lenses and correct your vision problem.

What's that out there? Is it an animal or a blob?

Do you find yourself squinting to see far away? Are you often moving closer so you can see things?

If you have these problems, you are probably nearsighted. The technical term for this is myopia.

You can see fine up close, but once you get a little bit away from something, your vision starts to get blurry.

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Here's the bad news:

-Nearsightedness is something a person usually has their whole life.

-You will often have to get stronger glasses as you get older.

-But hold on! There is light at the end of this tunnel.

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-Many people's eyes stop changing when they reach around 13 years old.

One note: Lens to correct myopia make your eyes appear smaller because they have a negative power.

Let's just hold this farther away…

If you see fine far away, but up close things are blurry, then you're farsighted.

This condition is known as hyperopia. It is normal in children.

There is a lot to be thankful for when it comes to hyperopia:

First, most of the time, it will not require corrective lenses and will correct itself.

Second, even if you do need glasses to correct a strong prescription, eventually, as you get older, you most likely won't need glasses anymore.

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One more note:  With hyperopia, the prescription has a positive power, so these lenses make your eyes look bigger.

Everything's a blur


Another common vision issue is general blurriness regardless of distance. If this sounds like you, then you may have astigmatism.

Astigmatism is much different than myopia and hyperopia. If you have this vision problem, your cornea is misshapen. A normal cornea is round, but your cornea is oval.

Here's the kicker:

It isn't uncommon to start out with myopia and get astigmatism as you age. It's a bummer if you were expecting your eyes to stop changing, but that's just life, folks.

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A common issue for children

While people like to joke about being crossed eyed, having this condition is no laughing matter. It can be a serious problem in a child.

This condition is known as accommodative estropia. It happens because one eye has a more severe vision problem than the other eye.

Glasses help correct the stronger eye and stop the accommodative estropia.

Crossed eyes don't last forever. It usually clears up as a child gets older.

Over 40?

Are you a little older and noticing you have to hold your cell phone out just a bit to clearly see it?

Well, my friend, you have fallen victim to presbyopia.

It isn't as scary as it sounds.

This condition typically starts in the mid-40s and is due to a normal change in the eye from aging. The eye starts to lose the ability to focus as well, which makes your vision blur when you try to look at something up close.

And that's not the worst of it:

You can try to ignore it, but eventually, your arm won't be long enough to accommodate because presbyopia gets worse as you get older. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Even if you have always had perfect vision your whole life, the chances are pretty good you will get presbyopia at some point.

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It's just biology people.

On the plus side, you do not have to wear glasses all the time unless you already do to correct other vision issues. You can just wear reading glasses. And they're cute, so don't worry.

If you already wear glasses, you will get to experience bifocals or trifocals, which we will get to in just a minute.

But wait! There's more!

Just when you thought nothing more could go wrong with your eyes to require glasses, we bring you other issues.

You may need to wear glasses to protect your eyes. Safety glasses for work or sunglasses when you are in the sun both provide much-needed protection.

You may also need glasses to help prevent or protect you from the following:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye strain
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred ​vision
  • Light sensitivity

Fun Fact: If you need to wear glasses, you're not alone. There are over 160 million people who need corrective lenses in the United States.

So Many Lens Types

Well, you may have just discovered you need glasses. While you may want to rush to find frames, you need to figure out your lenses first. After all, these are what make your glasses useful.

Because the fact is:

No lenses mean no vision correction. That's fine for the ironic geek look if you have 20/20 vision, but if you need glasses to see, you need some prescription lenses. So, let's talk about the lens.

The main lens types

There are two main types of lenses.

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Single vision means your lens has one prescription across the whole lens. You can look through any part of the lens, and your vision has the same correction.

On the other hand:

Multifocal lenses also called bifocal, trifocal, or progressive, are needed when you require multiple prescriptions. This is what we talked about before.

You'll need these when the presbyopia kicks in.

Bifocals have two powers or two lenses shaped into one. Trifocals have three powers or three lenses shaped into one.

And then there are these:

Progressive lenses are a little different. They are essentially the same as bifocals and trifocals but digitally made to put all powers in one lens. They are getting very popular as the main choice for those who need a multifocal lens.

Any multifocal lens takes an adjustment period to get used to because you have to look through each part of the lens based on your needs for the task at hand.

But it's no big deal. You can do it!

And you'll like multifocal much better than the alternative, which is using multiple pairs of glasses.

Ugh. No thanks.

Even lenses need enhancement sometimes

Humans as a species have this thing where we constantly strive to make an invention better. We've done it with pretty much everything.
Of course, we've done it with glasses.

Nobody is wearing those old-timey generic spectacles these days because we have options, people!

There is a range of lens enhancements that can make your overall glasses experience better, so read up on them right now.

Fun Fact:

The first lenses used to see were magnifying spheres. Great if you had hyperopia. Not so great for any other vision issue.

Hi-Index

These are thin lenses used for strong prescriptions. They are lighter weight and plastic. The biggest benefit is with hi-index, you can wear more frame styles if you have a higher prescription.

If not:

The thickness and weight of regular lenses make many frames off limits.

Nobody has time for super thick glasses these days. Come on! Make use of technology.

Photochromic

Do you want magic color changing glasses?

No, that's not some futuristic craziness. That's photochromatic lenses!

They change color from clear to dark according to the amount of light. To put it in simple terms: They turn your regular, boring glasses into sunglasses when you step outside.

Bam!

Well, actually, it isn't an instant occurrence. It takes time for them to change, but it's still pretty cool. You won't have to fumble with using clip-ons or changing your glasses if the sun is overly zealous.

Pro Tip:

You will need an extra pair of prescription or clip-on sunglasses when driving because the coating on your car windshield stops the light trigger needed to make photochromatic lens darken.

Photochromic

Do you want magic color changing glasses?

No, that's not some futuristic craziness. That's photochromatic lenses!

They change color from clear to dark according to the amount of light. To put it in simple terms: They turn your regular, boring glasses into sunglasses when you step outside.

Bam!

Well, actually, it isn't an instant occurrence. It takes time for them to change, but it's still pretty cool. You won't have to fumble with using clip-ons or changing your glasses if the sun is overly zealous.

Polarized

Simply put, polarized lenses minimize sun glare. They filter the light to help stop glare off water, roadways, or anything else that might reflect light.

This not only saves your eyes from strain but also can be helpful if you have light triggered migraines.

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate lenses are similar to hi-index, but they are stronger. These are the superman of lenses.


man in superman under shirt

Image: by NeuPaddy via Pixabay

This is to say they are shatterproof and darn near indestructible, and perfect for kids.

They might be a great choice for you if you're clumsy or just not too good about protecting your glasses.

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HD

Now, here’s some really crazy stuff. The newest breakthrough in lens technology is the same technology as in electronics: HD.


High-definition lenses are digitally customized to your specific vision. They allow for sharper vision just like an HD TV provides a sharper picture.

And that's not all:

They are easier to adapt to. If you've ever gotten a new pair of glasses and fumbled around for a while before getting used to them, then you can respect the value in this.

They are also thin and light, providing you with the most natural vision. We're taking a level of clarity that you could never get before with glasses.


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Let's face it:

If you wear glasses all the time to see, you have no idea what people with perfect vision see. You're only getting a partial reality. But with these babies, you can see like someone who has never needed glasses.

Expert Note: In the last 100 years, there is no greater invention in eye correction than the HD lens, according to experts.

No-glare

If light bothers you, especially when driving at night, no-glare lenses are helpful.

They use a special technology to stop the light reflection as it meets your glasses.

It's similar to polarized lenses, but just a different technology. This is an additive on top of the lens whereas polarization is within the lens.

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Tints

Finally, we have tints. These can be amazing in how they help you see. Here's a list of some tint options: 

  • UV protection -- protects eyes from sunlight, UV coating stops pupil from dilating and letting harmful rays into the eye
  • Amber -- protects eyes from fatigue, reduces glare, good for light sensitivity issues
  • Green -- helpful when playing golf as it provides better contrast in the sun
  • Red -- great tint for hitting the ski slopes to reduce sun glare
  • Gray -- helps with light sensitivity
  • Yellow -- good for night driving and computer use, may be used for diabetes-related vision issues, cataracts, and macular degeneration
  • Blue -- may help those with color perception issues to see traffic lights better

As with the no-glare, tints are typically added to the lens as a coating.

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Putting Those Lens to Use

Okay. Now we're here to the section you've been waiting for.

You know you need glasses.

You've considered your lens needs.

Get ready to find some frames that make your face look beautiful!

(Not that you need any help in that department, right?)

No pilot's license required

The aviator style was made popular by pilots way back when.

Oh, and a little movie called Top Gun didn't hurt the popularity of these trendy specs.


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Most often, you'll wear these types of glasses as sunglasses and not regular glasses, although in the 1970s people wore them as regular glasses.

They have a teardrop shape that comes low on the cheeks and is straight along the top with larger sized lenses.

Me-ow

If retro and feminine are your thing, look no more. The cat eye frame is purr-fect for you.

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Okay. Enough with the puns.

The cat eye frame was huge in the 1950s and '60s. It has an upswept almond shape with a flare at the temples. These frames often have embellishments at temples as well, making them a really fun style.

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Classic styles

  • Oval
  • Round
  • Rectangle
  • Square

They come in different sizes and colors, but these shapes are pretty standard.

Oval and rectangle are probably the most popular options.

Round is great for that retro feel, and square provides a more masculine aesthetic.

Image: by confused_me via Pixabay

For occasional use only

Where is my over 40 crowd? This is for you!

Reading glasses, more affectionately called readers, are usually half style frames meant for use only occasionally when reading.

They are often colorful and fun looking because readers are fashionable and you should look great even if you have presbyopia.

Throw out the rim

Ok. Not everyone who has to wear glasses is pumped about it.


If you are less than thrilled about having chunky frames on your face, then consider rimless and semi-rimless options. These use special construction materials to make it appear as if there is no frame.


Rimless glasses just have a discrete nose piece and then the temple arms to go around the ears. The lenses almost disappear.

Semi-rimless frames have a frame along the top with none on the bottom.

For the hipster

If you are a hipster and love ironic geekiness, then try the wayfarer. Created by Ray-Ban, these frames are chunky with thick temples.

Think Buddy Holly.

Finding the Right Frame for Your Face

Moving on. You know options, but do you know what looks good on you?

Never fear! We're here to help with that. Just keep reading.

The shape of you

No Ed Sheeran here, but we are going to talk about how to fit your frames to your face shape, which is just as exciting as a cameo from Ed. Right? Eh…


Anyway, here's a look at the seven face shapes and the best advice for picking a frame to match them.

Face shape: Oval

man with an oval shape face

Characteristics: Balanced height and width

Recommendations: Frames that have a similar balance of height and width, Should be as wide or wider than the widest part of the face


Frame suggestions: Cat eye, rectangle, square, wayfarer

Face Shape: Oblong

beautiful woman with an oval shape face

Face Shape: Oblong


Characteristics: Longer than wide

Recommendations: Want to make it shorter

Frame suggestions: Decorative temples, frames that add width to the face

Face Shape: Heart

woman with a heart shape face

Characteristics: Wide at top, narrow at the chin

Frame suggestions: Rimless or light color, cat eye, rectangle, wayfarer


Face Shape: Round

woman with a round shape face

Characteristics: Width and length the same but face is fuller overall

Recommendations: Want to thin it out and create more length

Frame suggestions: Angular, narrow, rectangular, cat eye, square, wayfarer

Face Shape: Square

attractive woman with a square shape face

Characteristics: Broad jaw and forehead but length and width are similar

Recommendations: Need to soften

Frame suggestions: Narrow frames, oval, round, wayfarer


Face Shape: Diamond

diamon shape face woman

Characteristics: Narrow at top and bottom, wider in middle

Recommendations: Need to soften cheekbones

Frame suggestions: Frames with strong brow lines, such as aviators, cat eye, and semi-rimless

Face Shape: Triangle

woman with a triangle shape face

Characteristics: Wider top and narrow bottom

Recommendations: Add width to bottom

Frame suggestions: Heavy frames, avatars, cat eye, semi-rimless

Pro Tip:

Your glasses will look better if your eyes are closer to the outside of the lens. So, if you have narrow-set eyes, avoid wide frames.

The keys to a perfect fit

You can find the right frame shape and get the best lenses to suit your prescription and needs, but if the fit of your glasses is off, you will end up hating them.

There are three main points to consider to get a good fit:

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Over the ear

The temple arms run from the front of the frames to behind your ear. They keep your glasses on your head. If they are too short, your glasses will fall right off your face.

If they are too long, they're just uncomfortable.

The temple arms need to fit properly along and around your ear for max comfort and to avoid rubbing. While they can be adjusted somewhat, you really need to find that perfect length that hugs your ear.

And here's a helpful tip:

If you have glasses already, measure from hinge to where it bends for ear and then from the bend to end and add those together for the length you need. If you don't already have glasses, then you'll just need to try some on to find the right length.


Over the nose

The bridge is the little section that goes over your nose. Now, you generally won't have a lot of worry over fit with wire rim frames because you can adjust the nose pieces, but if you are going with plastic frames, the bridge becomes important.

You want it to fit the shape of your nose. Otherwise, your glasses won't sit right or feel comfortable.


Not only that, you'll constantly be doing this:

And nobody wants to be pushing their glasses up their face hundreds of times a day because they didn't pay attention to the bridge.

I'm just saying, the bridge fit is paramount.


Over the eyes

There are a couple of things to worry about when it comes to the area of the frames that go over your eyes.

First, the lenses height and width have to match your prescription. If you wear multifocals, you are going to need a larger lens to accommodate your multiple prescriptions. You need a measurement of at least 30mm high.

Pro Tip:

If you have strong myopia, you should choose frames with smaller lenses. This will help reduce the thickness of your lenses.

Second, the overall size of the frame front is important. The width can be medium, narrow, or wide as denoted below.

  • Narrow is 117 mm and under
  • Medium 118 mm to 124 mm
  • Wide 125 mm and up

Width is measured from the outside of one lens to the outside of the other lens at the widest part, which is usually the temple.

Well, we've done our best to prepare you for the wild world of glasses. Whether you order them on the internet or go to an optician to buy a pair, remember the most important thing:

They must fit comfortably!

You may fall in love with a pair of frames, but if they don't work with your prescription or the proportions are off, they won't look good on you.

So, take the time to try on many different pairs. And perhaps get a friend to go along to offer an opinion.

Also, don't be afraid to study a little before you go. Make sure you know your face shape, your prescription considerations, and every other detail we outlined above.

The chances are good, though, that when you find that perfect pair, you will know they are the one.

Above all, don't be afraid! Try on a range of styles, colors, and sizes of frames. Even if you think they will look bad, give them a try. You never know.

After all:

You could be surprised by a style you thought wouldn’t work on you.

All of my new bespectacled friends, go now out there in search of your perfect pair.

What does your perfect pair of glasses look like? Tell us about them in the comment section.

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