We all spend a lot of time and energy finding frames that complement our personal style, bone structure, and skin tone. But in my experience, patients often forget about the fit of their frames. Of course, it isn’t the consumer’s job to worry about the fit as much, because their optician is there to ensure their frames offer the best fit for comfort and performance.
One of the biggest complaints people have with glasses is that they’re a nuisance or that they’re uncomfortable. But most of these issues can be resolved with a better fit.
Opticians and eyewear creators have had a variety of tools and methods to get the best eyewear fit pretty much since the modern spectacle was invented. But, like everything else, this technology has changed and evolved over the years.
Today, opticians are using highly advanced digital tools to ensure patients get the absolute best fit from their eyewear. As a result, consumers get more comfortable and effective glasses that last longer.
The Importance of Proper Fit
Your prescription is designed to align with your eyes in a certain way. If your prescription isn’t centered on your eyes properly, your lenses can’t work the way they’re supposed to, and your eyes may actually have to strain to see clearly, which is the opposite of what you want from your glasses.
We use a metric called pupillary distance to help us determine how far apart your eyes are. By measuring the space between your pupils, we can make sure your lenses are in the right position to give you the best possible results.
If the pupillary distance is measured incorrectly or isn’t taken into account, you’ll likely find that your glasses just seem off somehow. Every so often, someone will bring a pair of glasses they ordered online into us. Most of the time, they bring them in for adjustments because they find your glasses don’t seem to be correcting their vision properly. In these cases, it’s usually because the pupillary distance wasn’t right.
Fitting glasses is a precise skill. Pupillary distance is usually measured in millimeters, which means that even the smallest miscalculation or mismeasurement could be enough to throw off your vision.
We’ve all heard stories about someone frantically searching for their glasses without realizing that they’re already wearing them, or they’re perched on top of their head. This happens a lot, and with good reason; perfect-fitting frames should be so comfortable that you can forget you’re wearing them.
Everyone has different sensitivities and tolerances, so what feels comfortable to you might not feel comfortable for everyone. For example, some patients have a very sensitive head, so they need frames that are very light and do not put too much weight on any part of their head.
Even if you’re not particularly sensitive in any way, ill-fitting glasses can eventually get really uncomfortable, particularly if you’re wearing them every day, all day long. When glasses are too tight, they can cause tension headaches and give the wearer a feeling of stress or pressure. We also find that when the glasses are too tight, patients often avoid wearing them, or take them off to give their head a rest, then forget to put them back on.
Glasses are an investment, however that investment is only worth it if you actually wear them. Working with an optician to ensure your frames actually fit you comfortably means you’re more likely to wear them as you’re supposed to. To put it simply, an eyewear fitting is necessary to make sure you get your money’s worth from your glasses.
One of the safest places for your glasses is on your face. When frames don’t fit properly, there’s a higher chance that they’ll slip down your nose. Not only is it irritating to have to adjust your glasses all the time, it means you run the risk of dropping them, which could compromise the frames, scratch the lenses, and cause all sorts of other problems. I’ve even heard of people dropping their glasses in the toilet.
You’re less likely to drop, damage, or dirty your glasses when they fit your face properly. Frames that have been properly and professionally fit to your face should stay on, even if you were to stand up and bend forward at the waist. Having said that, I don’t necessarily advise trying it right now in case your glasses do fall off your face.
How Opticians Fit Your Frames
Every optician uses roughly the same steps and measurements to fit your eyewear. The major differences come down to the type of technology they use and how precise they can be.
Your optician will take a range of measurements, including the width of your head, the distance from your ear to “the bend” (where the hinge of your glasses should be), and the pupillary distance. Based on these measurements, your optician will adjust your frames to fit you properly. Adjustments vary based on your needs, but they could include:
- Heating frames up to curve them close to your face
- Altering the angle at which the arms connect to the frames to relieve pressure
- Adjusting or replacing nose pads so the frames sit at the right height
- Evening out the let back angles to help frames sit straight
Cool Technology We Use
As I said, the accuracy of your measurements really depends on how thorough your optician is, and what kind of instruments they’re using to make those measurements. Of course, any sort of manual measuring device does run the risk of misreading or incorrectly recording measurements. That’s not necessarily a reflection on the optician, it’s just a fact that people make mistakes.
More and more practices are relying on digital measurement systems when fitting eyeglasses. For example, we use Essilor’s m’eyeFit™ technology. Because this tool is digital, it reads and records measurements automatically, which cuts down on the potential for human error significantly. It also means we can capture much more precise measurements, which ultimately leads to better-fitting frames.
Maybe most importantly, software and digital fitting tools often recommend the best types of lenses for the patient’s needs, which means you’re getting a better fit and probably better performance out of your glasses.
Remember: The Fit of Your Eyewear Matters
Your eyewear is an investment in your health. It’s important that you take the necessary steps to make sure that investment goes as far as possible and gives you the best results.
Having your frames professionally adjusted by an optician can help make sure that you are getting the best possible performance from your glasses. And, thanks to modern digital technology, you can expect more from your glasses than ever before.