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What Should I Consider When Buying New Glasses?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
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Buying new glasses can be a dizzying experience, thanks to the wide array of frames on the market to choose from. Although an optometrist is often happy to assist customers in picking out new glasses, it can help to think about what you want before you go in to buy glasses. By organizing your wants and needs, buying new glasses will be much easier, because you will be able to readily eliminate glasses you do not want from the selection.

Most people buy new glasses because they have broken their old frames or no longer like them. In either case, an eye exam should be undertaken when buying new glasses to make sure that the prescription is updated, if necessary, and that your eyes are healthy. Most optometrists offer a selection of frames in the office, and some also grind lenses on site, so that you could potentially get your new glasses that day. If you are buying new glasses for an emergency and need them in a hurry, make sure to discuss that when you call to make an appointment.

The shape of the frames is an important consideration when buying new glasses. Glasses come in rectangular, oval, or polygonal configurations, and not all of them will look good with your facial structure. In addition, the shape and size of the lens will have an impact on your field of vision. For example, if you are buying new glasses because you are severely nearsighted, you probably want to avoid small oval lenses, although they may look fetching, because your eyesight will be restricted. Think about bringing a friend with you when you buy new glasses, to get a second opinion about how the glasses look on your face, while you think about how you will see through them.

If you wear glasses all the time, you should think about buying a flexible frame style which can go with a lot of styles of dress or types of accessories. If you primarily wear silver jewelry, for example, you probably should avoid buying new glasses with a gold finish. While trying on lenses for style, consider comfort as well. Make sure that the nose pieces are adjustable if the glasses do not fit comfortably, and think about how the ear pieces feel. If you are physically active, you probably also want flexible glasses, such as frames made from a memory material which will bend with impact, rather than breaking.

When you are buying new glasses, you have a number of options when it comes to lenses. Most lenses come with scratch resistance built in, which can be a useful feature. Many optometrists also offer the option of clear or transitional lenses. Clear glasses lenses are plain, while transitional lenses will darken when they are exposed to ultraviolet rays, turning into sunglasses. Some glasses wearers appreciate this feature, while others prefer to maintain a separate pair of prescription sunglasses.

If you drive a lot, you should probably get a pair of clear glasses and a set of prescription sunglasses, because transitional lenses will not darken in a car, since the windshield blocks UV. This means that you could have difficulty seeing in bright driving conditions. In addition, prescription sunglasses tend to be darker, and they will protect the delicate tissues of your eye from sunburn, keeping your eyes healthy in the long term.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon5030 — On Nov 09, 2007

As the person who has to fix your glasses when you are really desperate because you have broken your new pair. YES you need a backup pair of glasses! Accidents can happen even with the priciest and and sturdiest of frames and they are not always repairable by even the best opticians in the biz. This second pair does not even have to be new or the perfect prescription. It can be an older pair that will get you by for a week or so JUST IN CASE :)

By anon4568 — On Oct 23, 2007

Do people really need a back-up pair of GLASSES.

Just bought some glasses, and where I bought them they highly said it is very good to have a back-up pair.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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