How do your specs fit?
- Also see the How do your specs fit? infographic – coming soon!
Each pupil should be in the horizontal centre of the lens. The frame should be level with your eyes and eyebrows: ask the dispensing optician if a frame needs adjusting to be level. The width of the frame should match the width of your face. The side of your specs should run along the side of your face without cutting in. Once they reach the ear the sides should curve downwards. If the sides curve too early, they can push the frame down on your nose. With a plastic frame there should be no gap between the bridge of the frame and the bridge of the nose. Metal frames generally have nose pads which will be adjusted so that they sit parallel to the sides of your nose. The lower edge of the frames shouldn’t touch your cheeks, so that they don’t rub or irritate. Not everyone’s face is perfectly symmetrical, so don’t worry if your specs don’t appear symmetrical when you lay them on the table: the important thing is that they should be level on your face.
The width of the frame should match the width of your face. This means, when looking at you straight on, the glasses should not be significantly wider that your face, nor should the sides cut into your cheeks. The sides should not be ‘pushed out’ when sitting on the head: if so the frame is too small.
There is no set rule for this: return to the opticians for readjustment as often as you need. The fit of your specs will alter with wear as you flex the frames every time you take them off and on. Remove your specs carefully with both hands to ensure that you don’t stretch one side. Some people need very few adjustments, but with growing children you may find periods where you need to visit every week to stop the specs slipping. The dispensing optician is trained to ensure that your specs fit well, and will be happy to help however often you need to return.
Firstly, when did you last get your child’s specs adjusted? Children’s faces change shape as they grow, they may pull their specs off and on, and so you may need to visit the optician regularly for adjustments. Some people need very few adjustments, but with growing children you may find periods where you need to visit every week to stop the specs slipping. The dispensing optician is trained to ensure that your specs fit well, and will be happy to help however often you need to return.
Children have smaller noses than adults so it can be harder to find a great fit. Ask your registered dispensing optician to show you a selection of frames that will work well for your child. Smaller frames tend to be lighter, and hence less likely to slip. Ask about frame ranges specifically designed for children, as these will fit better than scaled down versions of adult frames. Discuss whether plastic or metal frames are the best option for your child. In some cases a headband can help the specs stay on: some frames come with a headband included. Return to the optician regularly for adjustments as this helps counteract the problem of slipping specs too.
Every spectacle lens has a centre, and your child should be looking through the centre of their lenses. If your child’s specs slip them may experience distorted vision when they look through the top of the lens, or they may look over the specs and gain no benefit from them at all. Call back in to speak to your registered dispensing optician if your child’s specs are slipping. Don’t be afraid to keep coming back: children’s faces change shape and they can be rough with their glasses so they may need regular frames adjustments.
Every spectacle lens has a centre, and you should be looking through the centre of your lenses. When you select your frame the dispensing optician will mark up where your eyes are centred within the frame. Your spectacle lenses will be cut so that their centre lines up with your pupils, ensuring that you look through the correct part for crisp clear vision. On collecting your specs your dispensing optician will again check that the lenses are centred correctly. Over time, however, your spectacle frames can become loose through taking them on and off. You may want to return to the optician every few months for adjustments so that you continue to get optimum vision.
There are a number of causes of red marks on the nose. The first thing to do is to return to the optical practice where you bought the specs and speak to the registered dispensing optician. They will be able to look at the fit of the frames and adjust the position of the nosepads. Larger nosepads can help spread the weight of your specs. If the weight of your specs is a continuing problem you may want to consider smaller frames and/or thinner and lighter high index lenses when you next purchase glasses. In a very few cases red marks where spectacles touch the skin may mean an allergy to the frame or nosepad material: ask your dispensing optician for advice.
The side of your specs will be adjusted when you collect them to fit well behind the ears. Occasionally you may need to return if you experience discomfort behind the ears. The registered dispensing optician will gently warm the sides of your frame and adjust the bend so that it doesn’t rub. You can return for regular adjustments to ensure that your frame remains comfortable.
Spectacle frames often have their size printed into the side or bridge of the frame. There are three numbers, such as 50-20-140. The first figure is the eye size, the second is the bridge size, and the third is the side length. While this seems simple, different styles of frame may have the same measurements but fit differently. Always speak to a registered dispensing optician about the right frame size for you.
Not all spectacle prescriptions work well in all frames. If you have a high prescription, you should avoid spectacle frames that are much wider than your face. Deeper and wider frames will be heavier, because the lens will need to be larger. This can also lead to chunkier lenses – thicker at the edge if you are shortsighted and in the centre if you are longsighted.
Varifocal lenses have different areas within each lens for distance, intermediate and near vision. Choose a frame with sufficient depth to allow you to make the most of all three areas. Ask your registered dispensing optician for advice before picking a frame.
If you want the lightest spectacles, choose a small frame and ask for high index lenses. Plastic lenses are lighter than glass lenses. The optician can discuss other enhancements to the lenses, so that they are made as thin as possible for your prescription. To ensure that your frame is comfortable, seek advice from the registered dispensing optician before choosing. They will advise you on frames that will work well for your face. They will adjust the frame to fit you too, so you can be sure that you have the most comfortable specs that you can.
It is very hard to choose a well-fitting spectacle frame online. Every person’s face is different, so what looks good on a model may not suit you. Different styles of frame may have the same measurements but fit differently. Always speak to a registered dispensing optician about the right frame for you.