Finding the right frame is not always easy, even harder to find without professional help, and can prove to be a stressful decision. This article is designed to give you some general guidelines and information needed for an informed decision.
The Three Components
There are three components to consider when finding the right frame – the material, the design, and the extra treatments. Let’s cover these one by one.
It may seem like your choice is either plastic or metal, but there’s more to it than that. Within each category, there are several options. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
- Acetate frames – strong, lightweight and colorful, these frames are great for sports and the active lifestyle.
- Propionate frames – made from nylon, these frames are hypoallergenic and very lightweight.
- Monel frames – even though this a plastic product, it’s actually stronger than most metals, including steel. And it’s corrosion resistant.
- Nickel alloy frames – these metal frames are less expensive than the newer generation metals and sturdy, however they can corrode over time and cause skin irritation. Most nickel frames need a protective coating.
- Titanium – this is metal that has some flexibility, very lightweight, and corrosion resistant, and hypoallergenic.
- Berrylium – similar to Titanium, but even lighter.
- Memory metals – many frame lines now use a combination of metals to create frames that retain their shape, rarely needing adjusting.
- Stainless steel – very strong, corrosion resistant, but can be heavy.
- Aluminum – this is very popular in contemporary styles since it can be lathed, cut very thin, and can be made in many different colors.
Certainly, style plays a role in the size of the frame. Just look back at eyeglasses from the 1980’s. But more important than fashion is the size of the frame for your prescription and how you will be using them. This is where the professionals can really help out. A trained optician can be sure the frame is the right size for progressive lenses, for example. The size of the frame determines the thickness of the lenses that will go in them. The optician can direct you to the right shape and size to minimize the weight and thickness of your new eyeglasses.
You might think the optician is just trying to dig deeper into your wallet, but the extra treatments are important. If you’re spending the time and money to get the perfect frame, be sure to consider anti-reflective (glare free) lenses. You’ll end up with better night vision, better computer vision, and your glasses will look better as well. Other considerations are lenses that darken when you’re outdoors, and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
The best investment is spending time with a licensed optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist to discuss your prescription needs. These are important decisions, so seek the expertise needed to make the right choices.