Frame fit: Nose pads

When helping customers select a new frame it seems that there are only ever two types of people – those who want notepads, and those who definitely don’t! These days with the amount of metal frames being made  – and made well! – it’s time we had a little talk about how to wear them.

So why is this particular part of the frame such a love/hate topic for wearers? Personally I can wear either, but there are a lot of contributing factors as to why this could be be, and why others may have a specific aversion to wearing them.

First, lets get into the details about notepads, and bridge fit.

Bridge fit = Across the wearers nose.

Most nose pads are made from either PVC or a type of silicone that either clip in or are screwed into the metal of the nose pad arm. Alternatively, I occasionally come across metal, titanium and rubber mix’s on some brands. Usually there are two nose pads, one for each side of the bridge of the nose that are available in a few sizes to fit the wearer.

img_2877The second type of fit is a lot less common these days, although wearers may have come across them in the past – Saddle bridges. Saddle Bridges can either click or screw into either side of the frame like the singular nose pads, however they are one piece that rests across the bridge of the nose, creating an in-between option from the two most popular designs. In more traditional frames you may see some models that come with this style of nose pad as standard, and it can also be built into the frame design from the start.

img_2872And lastly, the moulded acetate fit. Nothing special about this really, it’s basically just the shape that has been moulded into the design of the frame that sits across the bridge of your nose. This is a ‘one-size-per-frame’ design and can not really be altered so it is very important to get the fit right before you make a purchase. Some brands offer an ‘alternative fit’ range of frames which have a wider designed bridge for the same model of frame, allowing more people to have the correct fit.

So, now you have a basic understanding of the types of nose pads and bridge fits, why do some people have a severe preference one way or another? Honestly, it could be for a number of reasons, even a mixture of reasons and issues which I’ll go through with you below.

  • The nose pads haven’t been adjusted correctly on your metal frame. Sounds simple, but is easily the most common issue! If the nose pads are pushed in too tight on a wearers nose, they will dig in leaving red marks and sometimes even sores. This can also happen if a frame is bumped and one pad is moved more than the other. Similarly, if the nose pads are adjusted too wide, the metal bridge of the frame itself will rest on the wearers nose, also causing pain and discomfort. Not to mention this leaves the frame easily moving on the wearers face causing their vision to often be effected too.

TIP: Correctly fitted nose pads should be adjusted and sitting parallel with your natural nose shape. This means the weight and pressure will be distributed more evenly and feel a lot more comfortable!

  • The Acetate frame just isn’t the correct fit. If it’s too tight it will pinch and is likely to cause headaches through pressure on the bridge of your nose. If it’s too wide the frame will move around too easily on your face and constantly slip down no matter how the rest of the frame is fitted for you. Ideally, your Optical dispenser should be pointing out these fitting issues for you before you even purchase the frame, and should advise you if there is an alternative fit available for your frame choice.

TIP: If you already have an acetate frame (or similar – anything with a moulded bridge really) that is ill-fitting, don’t throw them out just yet! In some cases, adjusting the fit by adding stick-on-nosepads may be enough to get you sorted until you are ready to purchase your next pair. These are most commonly available in either clear silicone or a skin-toned felt which is attached to the inside of the bridge and cushions the fit for you. Alternatively, in most cases you can actually have metal armed nose pads just like a metal frame affixed to your acetate frame by a frame repair company, which will then give you more flexibility with the fit.

  • Your lenses are too heavy for your selected frame. This one can be applied to any type of frame, and any type of fit. The bottom line is, if your lenses are thick and/or heavy, the fit of the frame on the bridge of your nose becomes even MORE important. Any extra lens weight will push down on the bridge of your nose and feel like the nose pads or fit of the frame are the culprit – this is not always the case! If you have had the fit checked as per the above tips, you may need to look at investing in High Index lenses. This will result in a lighter lens weight for you and a more comfortable overall fit. (For more info look at my post on High Index Lenses)

TIP: Always discuss fitting issues with your Optical Dispenser – do not try to adjust them yourself! A lot of the time nose pad and fitting issues can be fixed quite easily if you are dealing with a quality dispenser who knows what they’re doing. And remember, if you don’t tell them there’s something wrong and you’re not happy, they won’t have the chance to fix it!

  • The frame itself is too heavy. This is a tricky one! I’m sure anyone that has worn glasses understands that what the frame feels like when you are first trying them on without your lenses, is hardly ever what they will feel like when you collect the finished product. Frame adjustment and lens weight also play a factor here, and there is no easy way to explain how to avoid an uncomfortable frame – it’s going to be up to the individual. When looking for frames though, be aware of how they feel on. How the frame weight is distributed on your face, and ask the likelihood of the frame being heavier on collection due to your lenses. Invest in quality frame materials: this really does make a difference! An example is in intricately designed solid alloy frame compared to an intricately designed thin titanium frame. They may look very similar on the shelf but their wearability is going to be completely different.

TIP: Generally speaking, you pay for what you get in the optical industry. Be wary of some companies trying to ‘push’ a particular brand of frame on you. I’ve seen countless examples of customers being told a frame is perfect for them when in reality, the only thing it fits is the sales persons’s daily $$$ target.

In summary, wearing glasses should never be an uncomfortable experience. And if they are, there are usually things that can be done to fix your issue. Always go back to your optometrist after you’ve had new glasses for a week or two as with body heat, sometimes frames can stretch and/or move. And lastly, remember the below points when you are looking to purchase new frames :

  • Fit and comfort are THE MOST important thing about a frame.
  • Always ask about the weight and thickness of your lenses in comparison to your last pair.
  • Take your time and never be rushed into making a decision.
  • Ask to try on alternative types of frames so that you can feel the difference in fit. Eg. Acetate vs metal with nose pads.

 

 

The Eyewear Girl xoxo

 

 

Titanium Frames

When purchasing eyewear there are many things to consider. Size, style, colour and comfort just to name a few. The materials the frames are made from have a huge impact on not only the design, but also the fit and weight of the frame. Today we are going to take a quick look at the benefits of titanium in frame design, vs other metal options.

The most common metal frame materials across the industry are titanium, nickel alloy, stainless steel, zinc, copper, beryllium, silver and gold. The easiest ones to find in store are Nickel alloy and titanium. Copper, Gold and Silver frames are not as easily sourced, due to their price. Beryllium frames are lightweight and fairly erosion-proof, however have large limitations on design. Stainless steel frames are definitely around but have many colour limitations so are not exactly ‘fashionable’ a lot of the time. And zinc….I’ve never actually found or sold a zinc frame!

 

 

Nickel alloy frames are easily the most popular. Not because customers look for them specifically, but because they are the most affordable and easily sourced. There are hardly any design or colour restrictions, it works well with most lens styles and can be adjusted to fit different faces easily, without damaging the design – provided the Optical dispenser knows what they are doing 😉 So why the focus on Titanium?

There are two main reasons people search specifically for Titanium frames:

  1. Titanium is a lighter weight material, great for people with sensitivity issues on their nose
  2. Anyone that has a nickel allergy – Titanium is hypo-allergenic.

While there are some limitations on Titanium as a material in terms of design, if you’re after a minimalist classic look you will find a lot to choose from. Designers are branching out with it as a material these days too, trying to push the traditional limits to create interesting pieces made in a more ‘skin’ friendly’ material.

 

Titanium frames are also recommended for anyone working in environments that are likely to make metals rust, as titanium doesn’t corrode.

Of course, being a more premium material, titanium is more expensive than a nickel alloy, although in most cases you will find the warranty on them is longer as well. If you’re allergic to nickel but prefer a minimalist look with your eyewear, I suggest investigating your options thoroughly. Even in the last 12 months I have come across many new brands specialising in titanium ‘fashion’ collections, that are absolutely beautiful.

As always, when investigating eyewear always ask questions. In independent practices, there is a reason why the prices for frames are what they are, the higher prices are usually determined by the handwork, details and also higher quality materials in each design.

The Eyewear Girl x

Time to talk PD’s

If you do know what a PD is, you probably know where I’m going with this. If you don’t, it’s VERY important that you keep reading!

Let me start by saying,

  • If you don’t know what PD stands for
  • If you’ve never had this measurement taken professionally before
  • If you actually care about the health of not only you eyes but your wellbeing too…

GO TO YOUR OPTOMETRIST OR QUALIFIED DISPENSER/ OPTICIAN!!!

PD stands for Pupil Distance (pupillary distance), the distance in mm between both of your pupils. You will have a slightly different PD for each different focal point, and there is no such things as a ‘standard’ PD. Getting this measurement incorrect CAN potentially cause issues with your eyes, cause headaches and complicate future prescriptions.

img_4129
Pupilometer

At least a few times every week I hear stories or meet people who are having problems with glasses they have purchased online, and most of these issues end up relating back to the wrong PD being either measured, or made up incorrectly in the glasses.

Wearing the wrong PD will mostly feel like your eyes are ‘pulling’ either to the left or right, and essentially this is what is happening. This creates what we call ‘prism’ in your lens, and is sometimes used to try and correct a turned eye. You can image how this could be damaging to you if you are wearing lenses like this unnecessarily.

Now some people will say that I’m being a little overdramatic, and in some cases that is true, some prescriptions will tolerate a certain amount of ‘error’ without effecting your vision or health of your eyes, but I just know personally, I wouldn’t want to do that to my eyes.img_4130

Glasses are first and foremost for your HEALTH. Yes we enjoy the fashion side of them, but in all seriousness, your lenses are the most important part of any purchase. If you actually care about your eyes it is always worth visiting your Eyecare professionals in person to ensure all of the measurements are taken and manufactured exactly as prescribed.

Eyewear: Vanni Eyewear

M.

Lens types

Ok, so this is going to be obvious for some of you, but I know there are plenty of people out there that need to know this – I get asked every day!

Know what you’re buying class #1 is in session, it’s time to get the basics right.

What type of lenses am I wearing?

Single Vision: Exactly as it states, these lenses have one prescription across the entire lens. There are no distortions, visible sections or marks on the lens. img_2830Singe Vision lenses are most commonly made up as reading glasses (near), Distance, or intermediate (computer distance), however your Optometrist can make them up for you at basically any specific distance you need – just make sure you mention it to them at the time of your eye exam.

 

 

Bifocal: Bifocal lenses have 2 distinct sections in them, traditionally Distance and Near. Bifocals can also be used as Near and Intermediate, or Distance and Intermediate. With Bifocals there is a visible section at the bottom called the ‘Seg’ (Segment). This section is clear, but visible due to a different thicknesBifocals of lens on the bottom half, closer to the nasal side of the lens. The most common design of Bifocal is a ‘D-Seg’, because the Seg looks like a letter ‘D’ on its side. This Seg is available in different sizes, and you can also (with some prescriptions) get an ‘Executive Bifocal’ where the segment goes right the way across the lens.  These lenses are now not being used as often as in the past, as all of the technology advancements have moved forward in multifocals lens designs instead. Basically, Bifocals are old technology, and while still useful, we rarely see new glasses wearers opting for them.

 

Green Face a faceVocational lenses: Vocational lenses are the step between a single vision and a full multifocal (See below). They look like a single vision lens with no visible sections, but act more like a bifocal in that they offer 2 different sections. Unlike a bifocal, vocational lenses have a soft and smooth graduation between the sections, which is hardly noticeable. These are widely used for students and office workers, so that they can view near objects such as books or paperwork and still see computer screens (most commonly set at an intermediate distance) with one lens. 

 

Multifocal lenses (also knows as Progressive lenses): Multifocal lenses have three sections  – Near, Intermediate and Distance. They do have some distortions out in the peripheral sections on both sides of the lens, however large advancements have been made over the last few years to eliminate this and it is much better than it ever used to be. The lenses physically look like a single vision lens, with no noticeable sections to be seen. The pro’s of this type of lens is once you find the right design, you should be able to put them on in the  morning and do anything in them. The Eyewear Girl Face a Face hello 2The down side, is if you get motion sickness, or have someone dispense them incorrectly (happens WAY too often unfortunately) you may have issues adapting. But don’t let that dissuade you from trying them; there are non-adaption warranties with every lens manufacturer I have ever dealt with but of course, you will need to discuss this with your Optometrist before purchasing. Don’t give up, they’re worth adjusting to but also don’t keep quiet if you’re finding it difficult. There are plenty of options out there and your Optometrist can’t help if they don’t know there’s a problem.

 

So, that is a VERY basic run down of the main types of prescription lenses. On top of the above, each of these lens types come in different materials, with many coating options and most can be designed using many measurements of where your eye sits in the frame you have chosen and takes your unique prescription into account as well.

As mentioned earlier, this is your Know what you’re buying class #1, there will be plenty more with more info on everything, but please don’t hesitate to ask any questions below!

M.